McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
The former highway commissioner for Algonquin Township Road District, Bob Miller, invoked his 5th amendment rights during the criminal investigation according to the McHenry County State's Attorney Patrick Kenneally. Because of that, Miller never had to answer any questions nor appeared before a grand jury.
Reading the final report from the State's Attorney's office and comparing it to answers now provided in the interrogatories from the civil case against Bob Miller points to numerous conflicts.
For example, the final report, (pages 45 and 46), of the salt give-a-way to the Illinois Rail Museum identifies at least three years where Miller provided Road District salt to the Railway Museum and that the Road District had no resolution declaring it as surplus for purposes of donating it to the IRM.
The statute that the State's Attorney cites as relevant law has no relevancy at all since they apply to the Township, not the Road District. Of interest is what is not in the final report on this donation. There is no Road District law cited because there is no Road District law that permits the donation of public property like there is in the Township Code. Why was that overlooked? Actual relevant law would be the laws that apply to the public body being investigated, in this case, the Road District. Since there is no provision for a Road District to surplus property and give it to a non-profit one would think that fact would have been part of the discussion in the report.
Miller's interrogatory question and answer raise more concerns, both in the investigation and as to what the real truth is, not to mention what other public bodies may or may not be doing with public property.
20. Identify the person or entity you contend owned the salt given to the Railway Museum in your answer to paragraph 89 of the complaint.
ANSWER: "This salt was given to the Road District by various municipalities as surplus material. They were kept in a separate pile and given to the Illinois Railway Museum."
So if the salt was given to them by other municipalities, why does Kenneally's report state "Township may have been deprived of the benefit of a few of the thousands of yards of salt ordered each year"? According to Miller, this salt giveaway was not from salt ordered but rather salt given away from other municipalities. Why would the report speak of salt that was ordered if that was not true?
The final report points to multiple years which salt was given away by Miller. Are we to believe various municipalities gave them a sufficient amount of salt in one year to be given away for several years? Or did the municipal surplus action take place every year?
While we have no pictures to confirm Miller's claim regarding the salt being kept in a separate pile, we find it odd that there would be any need to separate that salt from the Road District's salt since it was given to them, by various municipalities. What purpose is served by keeping separate piles of salt when it's all yours anyway?
These points lead us to the question of who actually investigated this matter. Why would other municipalities give away their salt to the Road District? Did they donate it to the Road District once, twice, or each year Miller was giving it away? Why was this not uncovered in the criminal investigation? I suspect the taxpayers of those municipalities would like to know their hard-earned tax dollars were being given away to the Algonquin Township Road District, according to Miller.
Since Miller is now facing depositions, a lot more questions need to be asked, and clearly, if Miller's claim is true, other municipalities need to be investigated for giving away public property that clearly is needed every winter. If it turns out other municipalities did not make the alleged contribution of salt, Miller will have other things to worry about.
For those that have forgotten or never knew from lack of local reporting, the civil case against Miller is directly connected to the State's Attorney's final report. Kenneally stated, "the Township and/or Road District has an adequate civil remedy for any improper distribution of salt.". That remedy is being carried out by the Road District's civil action and they are seeking recovery of funds improperly dispursed. The more information that percolates to the surface the worse it is looking for Bob Miller.
We are working on identifying who these municipalities are and will update this article in the future as the investigation continues.
Stay tuned for the next conflict exposure between the interrogatory and the State's Attorney final report.