Wesley Township, IL. (ECWd) -
During the November 9, 2021, Wesley Township Board of Trustees meeting, I asked Supervisor Mike Medlin a couple of questions:
Kraft: Could you have settled for less than what you have been billed by the township attorney?
Supervisor Medlin: “We don’t know that. We just don’t know that.”
Kraft: Are you sure?
Medlin: “Yes I do”
Kraft: You weren’t given a settlement offer and declined it?
Medlin: “We were given a settlement offer, we declined it based on the fact we didn’t have the money. So we responded with an offer that we did have. That was declined . . . that’s what you people ought to know, that they had the opportunity to stop this lawsuit. . . “
At first, he didn’t know what I was talking about, then he does know?
The truth is this:
- The Township could have provided the records requested and avoided all litigation.
- The township could have settled this for attorney fees long, long ago.
- The counteroffer was for $20K paid out over 20 years on a settlement offer of $60K.
- The Township immediately filed a frivolous countersuit demanding $50K from Plaintiff, without the knowledge nor approval of the board for the countersuit or the third-party claims (according to deposition transcripts of Medlin), then immediately offered a settlement of $30K that Plaintiff pay the township.
- There is no dispute there were FOIA requests completely ignored, and purposely ignored by the former township clerk who refused to provide public records because it might make her father, the former township road commissioner, look bad.
- There is no dispute the records requested were not exempt from the FOIA and should have been provided.
- There is no dispute McCubbin did not exhibit any emotional distress as claimed (according to his deposition).
- There is no dispute that there was never any weekend, at any time, where the township received anything remotely close to 50 FOIA requests in one weekend as the counterclaim alleged.
Wesley Township’s abuse of the Courts to cover for their past bad actions.
The Supervisor’s continued comments during this meeting point towards continuing defending this suit for the wrong reasons, knowing they are going to lose, but since in the end they will claim they have no money, they will continue to abuse the Courts by driving up litigation costs for both parties and taking up precious court resources.
Pursuing this, not in defense of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit as it was filed, but for the sole purpose of attacking and intimidating the residents exercising their right of access to public records, driving up the cost for everyone because they will claim they are broke, and by presenting an “unbelievable amount of evidence” that this [FOIA suit] was not done for the right reasons.
Supervisor Medlin additionally stated: “It’s time for the actions that have taken place in this township to be brought to light. It’s time for people, who have wronged other people, maliciously, to be brought to light.”
After a further comment by a resident, Medlin stated, to Kraft, “they’ll get to see the emails and texts from you personally. . . everybody from Wesley Township and every other government body in this state will find out exactly what happened here, how it was done, and how it’s still being done. . . I think the evidence will show what you guys do…”
Medlin’s comments, in our opinion, point to the township using a FOIA lawsuit to extract revenge on people attempting to access public records, and on our truthful reporting on the actions of (now-former) public officials of Wesley Township.
What is their “unbelievable amount of evidence”?
We sent a FOIA for all the text messages, emails, and other communications Medlin referenced during the meeting as their "unbelievable amount of evidence." The township provided all of them.
What we received back was a giant nothing-burger.
It is important you do not read the comments in a vacuum but in the appropriate context of when they were made.
Within the “evidence” you will see a couple of references to “weaponizing FOIA” – those comments were made while making fun of the former road commissioner’s use of the term in various online posts he made at the time, they were not made as a “this is what we are doing” statement by the person(s) who made the comments.
You will also see a couple of references to a “Blitz” – which by the Township’s own admission in court documents, never happened.
You will see references to “retaliation” where the commenter is letting people know he believes he will be retaliated against by the clerk’s father, through his posting of offensive comments on social media.
There you have it, now all of the fake drama of “unbelievable amount of evidence” is out there for all to see that it was actually nothing at all, except a smokescreen.
You can review all of them (click HERE).
Enjoy your reading, and remember, truth always prevails.