Will Co. (ECWd) -
All too often we find Township Supervisors that have taken the position that since they are the Treasurer for the Township, they can pretty much do whatever they want without following the laws. Wesley Township Supervisor appears to have followed that same path.
Part I of our series on the actions of the Wesley Township Supervisors failures only addressed one of several issues exposed from a single Freedom of Information Act request. As we pointed out in Part 1, this article will focus on the illegal payments to attorney's to include why those payments are illegal.
"A copy of the minutes and agenda for the meeting where the compensation was fixed for all attorney's representing either the Township or the Township Road District."
Drum roll, please?
"The township has no public records responsive to this request"
Why is that important? Becuase in order to write a check to anyone, there have to be several things done in advance of those payments and it is clear the Supervisor has not followed the law in this process.
60 ILCS 1/100-5 -"The township board shall fix the compensation of a township attorney appointed by the township supervisor under Section 70-37."
Since the Township Board has never fixed the compensation of a township attorney appointed by the Supervisor under Section 70-37, how do they know what to pay?
The fact of the matter is clear, you can't pay a bill just because it comes into the township. Those expenditures have to have the proper legal authority and approval before being paid and in this case, no such compensation for an attorney has ever been fixed by the Board.
The fact that the Supervisor is signing checks for invoices being sent by lawyers shows once again she either has no clue what the law says or has chosen to do as she wishes, the law be damned.
The new Township Clerk, Susan Lyday, has been trying to explain there is a proper way to do things, but that too has fallen on deaf ears. Captioning the photo provided by a local citizen of the Supervisor and the Clerk is bound to create humor out of a very sad situation. The Supervisor is the one on the left with a shocked look on her face, Clerk on the right.
Supervisor: What? We have always done it this way!
Clerk: No JoAnn, the Clerk shall have the "custody" of all the records, books, and papers of the township by law.
Supervisor: What? No way! We have never done it that way and I know other Supervisors that are doing it just like I am.
Clerk: No JoAnn, you can't pay those Road District bills without me countersigning the warrants as the law outlines.
Supervisor: What? Your wrong, we have always done it this way.
For those that find humor in the captioning, the reality is each and every improper action by this Supervisor was incorporated into that humor.
In Part III we will get into the Supervisor's action of bringing an attorney into the mix. The language in the law regarding the Supervisor appointing an attorney comes with other criteria that were previously ignored. More on that in Part III.