McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
Tuesday's Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik hearing was probably the most entertaining day in a courthouse I have ever experienced.
The morning court call for David McArdle, attorney for Lukasik, was set for 9 am. It appeared the Attorneys do not appreciate being asked to appear for a matter only to have the requester of the hearing fail to show for the hearing he called. The entertainment began at about 9:20 am. The Judge agreed if McArdle failed to show by 9:30 he would grant the Road District's motion to strike McArdle's filings with a catch that if he showed up during their scheduled 10 am hearing on the Bob Miller discovery matter he would address it then if Hanlon was still in the courtroom.
Hanlon exited the courtroom and walked down the hall. As I caught up to ask him some questions, he was on the phone with someone at McArdle's law office and wanted to know why he did not show up for his own hearing. No sooner than he got off the line, McArdle rounds the corner. My watch showed it to be 9:40 am and the tension between him and the Road District attorney Rob Hanlon was quickly noted before ever walking into the courtroom. When McArdle rounded the corner in the hallway and is told by Hanlon, "thanks for showing up", McArdle snipes back, "whatever", as if being 40 minutes late for his own hearing is no big deal. He continued walking and had no interest in speaking with Hanlon. Hanlon advised McArdle that he has an order and asked if he would like to see it, again McArdle snipes "whatever" and continues to walk towards the courtroom. It was clear from the interaction, McArdle was not a happy camper, understandably.
As we reported in this article, Lukasik no longer has a case to litigate. Hanlon referred to McArdle's filings as ''buffoonery" that beguiles all logic.
Once they were all in the courtroom Hanlon wasted no time sharing his disgust with McArdle and his filing in the case. Towards the end of the back and forth with all the attorneys, Hanlon made a verbal motion for the restraining and protective orders that were put in place early on in the case to be vacated because there is no case before the court since McArdle was unable to prove standing. McArdle had no objection. The Judge granted that motion making Lukasik's entire counter-claim and orders issued during the case void Ab Initio. That being the case, all videos captured by the Nest cameras are now subject to FOIA.
Hanlon provided the following comment on the court's order.
"Judge Meyer demonstrated wisdom in granting the motion of Mr. Gasser to vacate the erroneously granted TRO and preliminary injunction. The operation of law commanded it given that it was obtained by Karen Lukasik without having any cause of action and no right to sue. The Court previously struck her Amended Complaint and granted her leave to amend again. I had informed Mr. McArdle that he would be engaging in sanctionable conduct should he endeavor to refile another amendment. he apparently understood the consequences and did not file a second amended complaint within the time the court allowed.
He has however filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings which I will endeavor to demonstrate to the court is erroneous."
As the discussion turned towards the Miller case, Gooch managed to further postpone the case to October 29th, another delay met with strong resistance from Hanlon. That exchange and accusation of intentional delay reminded me of a prior conversation with Gooch. The last hearing I attended I was told by Gooch he is not concerned with the Miller case because it will all go away next May. I inquired as to why and he said 90 days after the primary elections the Township will be dissolved under the new law. When questioned on that point, he was confident that was going to happen and now we understand the ongoing delays by Gooch in this case. The goal appears to be to delay the case as long as possible so that when there is no longer a Road District, there would no longer be any legal case as the entity would no longer exist. His logic is that with no legal entity there could not be any case continued in the courts.
We have not found any language in the applicable statutes on that matter but will continue to research the point and share what we find in a future article.
While the courtroom antics were entertaining, so too was my conversation with Gooch prior to the 9 am hearing. I asked why he was there as the hearing was for a matter that had nothing to do with his client, Bob Biller. He said he was there for a 10 am hearing on discovery related to his client, Bob Miller. I asked him how McArdle can make such filings for Lukasik when he failed to file an amended complaint and Gooch said, Lukasik is the problem in that whole township. That comment led to a conversation on another Township's activity that included one he knows of that operates a non-profit corporation out of the Township offices. An action he acknowledged is not legal. While we intend on following up on the matter, I find it ironic that such actions were of concern considering his own client, Bob Miller, did the same thing with the nonprofit highway commissioner associations he operated out of the Road District office.
It is our opinion this entire Lukasik counter-claim and McArdle involvement could have been avoided if the Township had what we would consider competent legal advice. Any attorney worth their salt would have realized Lukasik never had standing to bring such a case. We once again call for the Township board to terminate the services of their attorney, James Kelly.