McHenry Co. (ECWd)
We first exposed questionable billing from Algonquin Township Attorney James Kelly in May of 2018 in this article which specifically focused on a powerpoint presentation that was prepared for what we believed at the time of publication was for the Northern Illinois Township Highway Commissioner's Association (NITHCA).
All efforts to obtain a copy of the taxpayer-funded powerpoint resulted in no production and denials from the Township. Their failure to comply with the FOIA for this particular record is part of the 16 count FOIA suit we filed against the Township.
We will now share the evidence, Kelly's own words, that prove the PowerPoint presentation was in fact not for Algonquin Township Road District purposes but rather for Miller to use for his presentation to NITHCA as the President, just as we suspected when we first broke the story.
"Mr. Kelly prepared a power point presentation on current law pertaining to road districts and townships for Mr. Miller as Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner to use at a NITCHA meeting." (Page 10 of Kelly response)
Kelly goes on to create his perceived justification for his actions with misinformation and assumptions not supported by law.
"Providing a law update for a government client to be used for to government officials is clearly for a public propose and within the scope of the Highway Commissioner authority." ("..used for to government" is what Kelly wrote)
Kelly confirms he prepared the powerpoint for Miller "to use at a NITCHA meeting", which is not Algonquin Road District Business. Kelly's own assertion confirms Miller used his position as Highway Commissioner to have the taxpayers pay for legal work not intended for Algonquin Township Road District purposes, but rather for the Association he was the President of. If that is not evidence of misapplication of funds I don't know what is.
We challenge Kelly to provide any statutory citation that points to a Highway Commissioner's scope of authority that allows Miller to spend taxpayer funds of the Road District for the attorney to prepare and bill for a presentation that he knows is to be used for something other than the Road District business. Miller's providing of a presentation to the Association he is the president of is not a function of a Highway Commissioner, nor does it serve the public purpose of the Algonquin Road District.
We also take issue with his attempt to imply the presentation is for a public purpose as a means of justifying the action. What we have here is yet another example of what comes first, the chicken or the egg.
People pay their road district tax and those funds are to be used for the public purpose of Algonquin Township Road District as outlined in the highway code, not for the purpose of Miller using his capacity as Highway Commissioner to give presentations to a private association he was the President of.
Kelly is well versed in misinformation and presenting information in a fashion which gives the appearance of accuracy. However, when you actually dig into the details of his claims, they further prove why he must be held accountable.
Another example of his wordsmithing is found on page 6 of his response to a prior motion to disqualify him as counsel for the Township.
"In this report (State's Attorney report on Miller investigation) at pages 5 and 6 the State's Attorney found no criminal conduct on the part of Robert J Miller." (page 6)
Anyone reading pages 5 and 6 will quickly realize the State's Attorney report does not represent what Kelly claimed. In fact, the report stated:
"It is important to note that our decision not to prosecute is not a declaration of Miller’s innocence or any assessment of his aptitude as Highway Commissioner or virtue while serving in that role. Rather, we determined, mostly, that there is insufficient evidence to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that Miller committed a criminal offense." (Full report)
Kelly's response clearly confirms he billed the Township Road District for preparing a legal update on Township and Road District law that he knew was not for the purpose of Algonquin Township Road district business but rather for use at a meeting held by NITHCA and for the purpose of educating them on consolidation and/or elimination of Townships and Road Districts as evidenced in the request for Miller to present. Clearly not Algonquin Township Road District Business.
Kelly's response confirms what we questioned in May of 2018. Nothing like being indicted with your own words.
You can view Kelly's response to a prior motion to disqualify him as counsel at this link or view below. Note there are numerous other article-worthy tidbits from his filings that we will get to as time permits.
Stay tuned for more exposure of Kelly's work and how it was used to help Bob Miller.