McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
We suspect it is going to be a very interesting weekend for the former Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Bob Miller and his lawyer, Thomas Gooch III . Interesting from a standpoint of what will go through their minds after reading this article. I suspect it will establish free rent space for days!
As most of the residents of McHenry County know, the current Highway Commissioner has filed a lawsuit seeking an accounting based on numerous identified missing items and alleged misappropriations of public funds. While some may squabble about such a suit, the fact remains it is only proper to have a full accounting of assets as outlined by law and an accounting of how money was spent.
An affidavit was filed by Mr. Gooch in his Motion to Dismiss that is troubling on numerous fronts, to say the least. For starters, why would any elected official ever fight to avoid transparency? Yes, that was sarcasm.
The Gooch Lawfirm website reflects they specialize in Legal Malpractice. That being the case, why would an attorney have his client sign an affidavit that clearly conflicts with official public records, also signed by his client? This filing may become very problematic on several fronts.
Affidavit: "Exhibit A is a true and correct copy of the Highway Commissioner's Annual Report, with Inventory attached, which I filed more than 30 days prior to the annual meeting conducted in 2017, and which bears my signature.
How are we to believe his affidavit claiming he filed his annual report and inventory more than 30 days prior to the annual meeting conducted in 2017 when the signature on that filing is dated April 6th, 2017 for the annual report and April 5th, 2017 for the inventory, which is a mear week prior to the annual meeting held on April 11th, 2017? His own sworn filed document with the Township conflicts with his sworn affidavit.
Additional matters that are sure to be problematic for this group:
Annual Report "I, Robert J. Miller, Highway Commissioner of Algonquin Township Road District, McHenry County, Illinois, being duly sworn, depose and say that the following statement is a correct report for the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2016, and ending March 31, 2017"
Looking at the "claimed" true and correct copy of the Highway Commissioners Annual Report we see a problem.
Note that the amount listed on page four, for unpaid liabilities under the Road & Bridge Fund is zero, as in no liabilities.
The signature on the Annual Report was that of Bob Miller and dated April 6th, 2017. So how is it there were no liabilities listed in the sworn Annual Report on April 6th, 2017, which included Road and Bridge fund, when just six days later Miller presented a liability of 263 sick days under the Road & Bridge fund for $47,381.84?
You can't have it both ways. The sworn affidavit says one thing, the record says another.
In the attorney's reply to the Plaintiff's response to the Motion to Dismiss we find yet another troubling statement that is sure to be problematic.
"Only because of unfamiliarity with the township code and the records of Algonquin Township the highway commissioner presently fails to understand that the liability he speaks of was a liability of the township for sick pay as the road district had never paid the highway commissioner's salary or sick days, there is no reason such a liability would be listed in the annual report."
Unfamiliarity with the Township Code and the records of Algonquin Township Highway?
Interesting the attorney provided no citation of the Township Code to support his argument on this liability and we must assume, he is the one that is not familiar with the records in question.
The records reflect the sick pay was, in fact, submitted to and paid from the Road & Bridge Fund. If this claimed liability was a liability to the Township, why would the liability be submitted to the Road & Bridge fund? The record points to Bob Miller as the one who fails to understand the records of the Algonquin Township, not the current highway commissioner.
The paper trail proves Bob Miller submitted a liability to the Road & Bridge fund six days after submitting a sworn statement that such account had no liabilities. We contend, based on the evidence, the affidavit that Mr. Miller signed and his attorney filed as an exhibit in the recent pleading is in conflict.
Mr. Miller's annual report can't be true if six days later he submits a massive liability. So we are left with one of two options. Miller's sworn Affidavit is wrong on this point or Millers' sworn annual report is wrong. Either way, Miller appears to have a problem to deal with.
Next item of contention for the attorney and Miller is the claimed true and accurate inventory.
The attorney takes the position in his reply; "As argued below, they still are unable to point to anything actually missing". The attorney is attempting to take the position that the Plaintiff is unable to point to anything actually missing as a reason to dismiss this case. For starters, if something is missing it would be pretty hard to point to it, but all that aside, I can tell him one thing that is missing, as in missing from the inventory.
Even though Miller claimed his inventory is true and accurate, how can it be when there is zero mention of any Salt in the inventory? How can you leave out a known asset to the Township and claim your inventory is true and accurate? I mention this because we understand how something small like a cardigan sweater, woman's purse, or I-pad cover might get overlooked and be missing from the inventory, but we all know you cant overlook a salt dome with Salt in it. And yes, we have confirmed there was in fact salt in the Salt dome at the time of the report filing.
The township code does give him an out on the salt.
605 ILSC 5/6-201.15 (4) Any additional matter concerning the roads of the districts the highway commissioner thinks expedient and proper to report.
Why would he want to report the salt in an inventory? Might the fact he was giving salt away be a contributing factor to ignore this asset to the district?
And now for the one big problem that Bob Miller has to worry about, as does the attorney.
Will the attorney's filing of his client's Affidavit now become evidence for the criminal investigation? It should be and here is why.
Does everyone remember that sweetheart sweeper deal Miller made with the 2012 Elgin Street Sweeper? You know, the one he sold for $70,000.00 to Village of Island Lake, March 23rd, 2017? We wrote about it in this article.
Why would you sell a piece of equipment worth $225,000.00 for $70,000.00? We find the inventory that he signed April 5th, of 2017 contained an assigned value to the 2012 street sweeper to be $225,000.00. (See page 15).
Bob Miller asigned the value to this Township Asset yet sold it in contradiction to state law for such a sale and did so at a price $155,000.00 below its assigned value.
One last issue........for this article!
The records reflect the sweeper was sold as of March 23rd, 2017. If it was sold, why on earth does it show up in an inventory that Miller swore was true and accurate on April 5th, 2017?
We will continue to put out the bread crumbs for the authorities and hope that at some point they become hungry enough to start eating!
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