McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
Shortly after the last Township election, we read a story in the local paper about the Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik being allegedly secretly videotaped at the Township. Her allegations are what lead to some of our first FOIA request at the township which are now part of a FOIA lawsuit for her refusal to provide the requested records. We have been told by a board member that one of those videos contains Lukasik family members in it, and that is why she is refusing to provide it.
Lukasik apparently filed a criminal complaint with the Sheriff's office regarding the alleged secret video recordings, her complaint was forwarded to the Illinois State Police. The ISP explained why they declined any investigation into the matter.
"The township property is posted as being under surveillance, therefore, limiting one's expectation to privacy."
Considering law enforcement made a determination that there would be no investigation due to the property being posted as being under surveillance, it should be clear to the Township the videos in question would be subject to FOIA. We were able to obtain one video of the Clerk and her friend in the Supervisor's office shown below. The Township has refused to provide the other recording of Lukasik citing a court order which said nothing about FOIA requests for a public record. Below is the one video we obtained independently, and to date, the Township has refused to even provide any of those videos.
Of additional interest in this matter is the fact Lukasik has told the criminal investigators there are no missing records, yet she responded to FOIA for certain records she removed from the office, captured on video, by claiming there are none. With a video showing she did, in fact, walk out of the office with records and take pictures of records, we know there were records. That being the case, how can Lukasik tell the authorities there are no missing records while telling us she does not have the records requested that were clearly in her possession? Claiming there are no records in our FOIA for those specific documents appears to point to a willful violation of FOIA and possibly her providing false information to the authorities.
This is not the first time Lukasik finds herself wrapped up in conflicting statements. She is currently facing a motion for sanctions in her lawsuit against the Road District alleging missing records, later telling authorities there are no missing records, yet she allowed her lawsuit to continue in the courts racking up legal bills for what appears to be a bogus claim. The article related to the sanctions motion she is facing can be found in this link.
As more key facts percolate to the surface it is going to be interesting to see how the courts deal with the Townships apparent misrepresentation of facts related to numerous FOIA requests as now we have conflicting evidence which Lukasik is going to have to explain.
Lukasik appears to be confused.
- Files a lawsuit alleging records are missing and destroyed
- Tells investigators there are no missing records
- Tells us there are no records that she removed from the Supervisor's office
- Tells us there are no electronic images of records taken by her while in the Supervisor's office
- Video shows her taking pictures of records and walking out of the office with records.
We have obtained other communications involving matters connected to Lukasik that resulted in our filing another FOIA request. The response to that request will be most telling and we will update this story when that response is provided.