Algonquin Township

Algonquin Township Road District – Request to Admit – Public Property gifts- Free Phones – Part IV – UDATED-NEW DOCUMENT

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

For those new to the series, you can find all the previous articles at this link which also includes many other Road District related articles.

It is becoming evident the paper trail of records paints a problematic picture for former Algonquin Township Road District Highway Commissioner Robert Miller who was sued by the Township Road District for a laundry list of matters to include the gifting of public property to employees.

This article will focus on answers found in MIller’s request to admit documents pertaining to Road District cell phones.  While the purchase and conversion of public cell phones to private accounts was part of numerous pieces of evidence we provided to the State’s Attorney, there is no evidence in the State’s Attorney’s Final Report or any other report we have obtained which points to this matter being investigated.

Many of the documents obtained were obtained only after a forensic audit of a hard drive that was discovered on a shelf in the highway garage building behind other debris.  Interesting place for a hard drive of public records, just saying. We were advised the State’s Attorney recieved a copy.  We have no reason to believe it was ever reviewed for possible evidence of any crimes.

From the Request  to Admit:

13. You gifted cellular telephones belonging to Algonquin Township Road District without a fee to employees or former employees of Algonquin Township Road District.

Why would such a question be asked?

  • March 22, 2017 – Bob Miller’s public cell phone is transferred to a personal account.
  • March 18, 2017 – Anna May Miller’s public cell phone is transferred to her as a personal account. (This document points to two other numbers being processed for transfer)
  • March 17, 2017 Dillan Stern’s public cell phone transferred to him as a personal account.
  • March 17, 2017 – Kevin Fitzgerald’s public cell phone transferred to him as a personal account.
  • March 17, 2017 -Ryan Green’s public cell phone transferred to him as a personal account.
  • April 13, 2017 – Brian Doubek’s public cell phone is transferred to him as a personal account.
  • April 13, 2017 – Derek Lee’s public cell phone number transferred to him as a personal account.
  • April 27, 2017 – Danial Neumann’s public cell phone is transferred to him as a personal account.
  • May  3, 2017 – Andrew Rosencrans’s public cell phone transferred to him as a personal account.

One can only wonder if receipt of illegally converted public property is grounds for termination of employment considering they knew this was Public Property and was not part of any employment agreement, union or otherwise? It’s clear, they all participated in this conversion of public property the second they signed their name.  Oh, never mind, courts said there was no grounds for termination.  Move along.  Nothing to see here.

My first question, why do any of these Road District cell phones all of the sudden have to be transferred into personal accounts?  Who knew the taxpayers were paying for cell phones for all these Road District employees? Anna May Miller, wife of the person approving these transfers worked in the office.  Why did she need a cell phone?

I understand all the ways to justify employees having phones but find no legal justification for giving them away just prior to leaving office. It appears, due to losing an election, this was a parting gift.

Most prosecutors would see this as a criminal conversion of public property.

This is about the time where people start to try to defend the transfer of public cell phones to those people because making them get their own phone means lots of people won’t be able to reach them.

UPDATE!

An overlooked document has a most interesting heading as it relates to the pones of the Road District employees.  “Phone Choice” is found at the top of one of the columns.  Is this an indication Miller simply let the employees choose the type of phone they wanted?  How many public bodies maintain 5 new spare cell phones?

The Metadata shows the document was created by Anna, assumed to be the same Anna who was the wife Bob Miller.

More information related to the question in the Request to Admit.

  • April 28, 2017, – Bob Miller purchases a Samsung Galaxy S7 phone and it is in the Name of the Algonquin Township Road District -Attn Robert Miller
  • April 24, 2017, Bob Miller purchase a Samsung Galaxy S8 phone and it is named “SPARE”.
  • April 19, 2017 – Bob Miller purchases a Samsung Galaxy S7 and this paperwork points to it being in the name of Doug (believed to be Doug Helman), and it too is in the name of the Algonquin Township Road District.

Note: According to payroll records, Doug Helman was not an employee of the Township April 19, 2017.  His last pay cycle was 3/9/2017 to 3/22/2017.

Can anyone explain why Miller is ordering a new phone and having the name of a retired employee on the order? If it was not for the former employee, who was it for? 

Anyone recall that Request to Admit number 13, which Miller denied?

13. You gifted cellular telephones belonging to Algonquin Township Road District without a fee to employees or former employees of Algonquin Township Road District.

What happened during the last Township Meeting a week before Bob Miller left office?

  • May 10, 2017 Highway commission Miller asked for approval of the Verizon bill that came in today for $772.09. (Meeting Minutes)

A bill that comes on the same day of the meeting is not one that could have been on an agenda for proper notice to the public.  How convenient the meeting a week before Miller leaves office he slips in a bill from Verizon for $772.09, the same phone company that just transferred public cell phones to personnel of the Road District and sold brand new ones, of which two were in his name and one was for a past employee. Why not wait for the next meeting for this bill to be paid? What was the rush?  Is it possible there was a concern the newly elected Highway Commissioner would review the actual billing details and expose what appears to be the gifting of the public property prior to leaving office and possibly face a demand getting issued for the new phones purchased by the elected official?  Why did Bob Miller need two new phones two weeks before leaving the office?  Where are those phones?  According to the Road District, these phones have not been located so it’s assumed they are in the possession of the person who purchased them and had the Road District pay for it, Bob Miller.

We have been in the middle of an FOIA lawsuit for quite some time with the Township and this Verizon bill is part of the records Lukasik refused to provide.

The board voted yes to authorize payment, no questions asked!

It should be noted, I did not say the board “approved” these “purchases” of cell phones.  The board voted yes in favor of paying the bill and I doubt any one of them realized what it was really for.  If they did, they should be prosecuted for such malfeasance and failure to do their job in our opinion.

Back to the Request to Admit!

Miller’s response to the phone gifting matter should be very problematic in the civil case as the paper trail directly conflicts with the response.

Answer:
Defendant ROBERT MILLER denies request number 13 and further qualifies his answer by stating the cellular telephones in question were part of a transaction in which benefits were withdrawn from employees which were previously furnished by the Algonquin Township Road District and the cellular telephones in question were transferred to them in consideration for that withdrawal of benefits.”

Miller Denies he gifted cell phones to employees or former employees.  Nevermind the records showing multiple phones belonging to the Road District are being transferred to private personal accounts, and in one case a phone purchased and what appears to be placed in the name of a former employee.

Miller claims the phones in question were part of a transition in which benefits were withdrawn from employees which were previously furnished.  What does the public property have to do with a transition during an outgoing Highway Commissioner and the incoming Highway Commissioner?  Sorry, rhetorical question.

Pay attention as this is where the mastery of “baffle them with BS” comes into play.

So Miller withdrew that benefit and did what?  Transferred it to them in their personal capacity.

Why did he do that again?

“In consideration of having benefits withdrawn!”

Seriously?  Are you reading what this man is saying? 

Using Miller logic: in consideration for the Road District withdrawing the insurance, fuel, and maintenance cost of the truck Derek Lee was driving, we will simply transfer the title of the truck to Derek Lee and now it’s his truck and he has to be the one paying the insurance, fuel, and maintenance. 

The fact is, the only alleged benefit that was withdrawn was the billing for the phone which actually was not a benefit according to the policy.  It appears, in consideration for the Road District no longer paying the bill, Miller does four things.

  • He approves public phone numbers to be transferred to private accounts of the employees.
  • He allows public property, cell phones, to be given away to the employees.
  • He purchased two phones in his name and mysteriously those have not been located.
  • He appears to have purchased a new phone that the record points to be for a former employee.

The benefit of the public paying for the billing is what was lost so is he saying ‘since they lost that I am giving them the phone and also buying a former employee a phone along with two for myself‘? Yep, nothing to see here, move along.

Can anyone explain how a former employee can lose a benefit if he is no longer employed? Sorry, another rhetorical question.   I guess the gold watch was not enough of a gift on the backs of the taxpayer.

Also discovered during the search of records was a 2012 Employee policy manual.  Considering it was on the publicly-owned hard drive, we can safely assume, until proven otherwise, it is a true public record.

Of interest are the listed Benefits from that policy, or should I say what is not listed as a benefit?

  • GROUP HEALTH
  • ILLINOIS MUNICIPAL RETIREMENT FUND
  • FEDERAL SOCIAL SECURITY
  • WORKER’S COMPENSATION
  • UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

We note we have found no evidence that any of those listed benefits were withdrawn from the employees.

Not seeing any benefit pointing to Cell phones and the bill for those phones so we can only wonder what Miller’s response is going to be under oath in a deposition.

What we do see of interest is the section on Road District property and its use titled: USE OF ROAD DISTRICT PROPERTY AND FACILITIES

  • Road District Cellular Phones and Other Electronic Communications Devices”
  • “Other Property. Employees are required to return all Road District property or equipment in their possession upon separation from Road District employment.”

This is of interest because it confirms cell phones are Road District Property and while a public body can establish benefits for its employees, it can not give away public property in exchange for the employer taking away a benefit, especially a benefit that never existed according to the only policy found in the public record remotely close to the dates in question.

What is most interesting and probably going to be the most problematic for Miller, is the Collective Bargaining agreement which he now claims to know nothing abought (another article coming).

Within that agreement is a cell phone provision found on page 24.   It deals with employees “personal” cell phone stipend:

“Full-time employees shall receive a fifty dollar ($50.00) monthly stipend toward the costs associated with his/her cellular phone for so long as the cellular phone number Is available to the Highway Commissioner after-hours  for purposes of Overtime and Call Back assignment at said  number”

So if all these full-time people are going to get $50 a month towards the cost of “their” phone, you know, the one the Road District converted over to them just weeks prior, what benefit was withdrawn as Miller claims?  It darn sure was not any of those listed in the policy and considering the agreement is giving them $50 a month for the cost of that free phone they got from the Road District, Miller has a whole lot of explaining to do.  The thought that the bill for the phone was a benefit withdrawn crumbles in light of the $50 stipend they are going to get with the phones they just recieved.

We understand many will insist the State’s Attorney prosecute this matter, as we did when we provided the information in our complaint.  However, that will not happen as was explained in our article back in May of this year.  What that article did not disclose was the details of the evidence we provided, much of it now exposed in this article.  The same evidence that was referred to as insufficient by his office.

According to the State’s Attorney, there is insufficient evidence for his office to seek a special prosecutor and states the allegations raise issues most appropriately resolved in civil court, just as he cited in his initial investigation on other matters.

While we understand prosecutorial discretion and do appreciate the importance of making the right call when it comes to a person’s liberty, the evidence on this matter points to the public property being converted for personal use and done so intentionally just prior to leaving office.   How the transfer of all these phones to personal accounts and the purchase of three new phones just prior to leaving office is legal is beyond my comprehension.  Multiple lawyers are perplexed how anyone calling themselves a prosecutor and actually looking at this could conclude this was a legal transfer of public property for personal use.

While we disagree with the prosecutor’s position, as it stands, once again in the words of McHenry County State’s Attorney,  “We believe further that these allegations raise issues most appropriately resolved in civil court.”

That being the case, I would not want to be Bob Miller in the deposition nor in the court as this case moves forward in the Road District’s efforts to recover Road District property.

Stay tuned for more to come!

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2 replies »

  1. Thank God someone is savvy enough to follow all the loops and blind allies these criminals wound around their machinations. You are truly doing God’s work by exposing the fraudulent dealings of the lifetime grifters. Giving the power BACK to the people is something no one else seemingly knew how to do. God bless you all in ALL your endeavors!

  2. Some very disturbing allegations are being alleged here. I hope this is handled in civil action and residents of Algonquin Township are made whole by this thief of goods.