ALGONQUIN TWP. (ECWd) -
The NWHerald has reported that Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik has offered up her resignation in return for a large cash payout to settle her lawsuit (counterclaim) against several township officials.
The problem? As Township Clerk, she is not permitted to financially enrich herself to settle a lawsuit she filed, using an attorney the township taxpayers are paying, to sue township officials.
The other problem? Elected Officials cannot receive severance pay (if that is how they try to structure this payment).
According to the NWHerald, Lukasik has offered up two options:
- OPTION #1: Lukasik resigns, dismisses her counterclaim, receives payout of $65,000, and a statement that no party in the proceeding has any evidence that Lukasik wrongfully destroyed township records during her term of office or did anything wrong while she served.
- OPTION #2: Lukasik remains as Township Clerk, dismisses the counterclaim, receives payout of $35,000, the same statement as mentioned in #1 (above), and that she have sole access to township records.
We find both options unacceptable and an alleged violation of state law. She is attempting to financially enrich herself on the backs of Algonquin Township taxpayers for a lawsuit they are already paying the legal fees for.
The Township Code states what happens in lawsuits:
60 ILCS 1/95-10)
Sec. 95-10. Suit in township name. In all suits or proceedings, the township shall sue and be sued by its name, except where township officers are authorized by law to sue in their name of office for the benefit of the township. (Source: P.A. 82-783; 88-62.)
Assuming Lukasik had the power to sue, the only power she had was to sue in the name of her office and "for the benefit of the township" - which means all financial windfalls resulting from such a lawsuit belong exclusively to the township, not to the individual.
We published a video of Lukasik allegedly removing public records and stating "I can do what I want" - (watch it here). The Township later attempted to force YouTube to censor this video; those letters between the township and YouTube are currently the subject of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed last month.