McHenry Co. (ECWd) -
As we continue to compare statements in the Final Report from the State's Attorney's office and documents produced in the civil action against Bob Miller, the former Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner, we continue to find conflicts raising more questions.
As we reported in this article, the criminal investigation of the Algonquin Township Road District looked into the salt that was given away to the Illinois Railway Museum being managed by Dave Diamond who was the Riley Township Highway Commissioner during the time in question.
According to the final report, the salt given away was salt that was ordered by the Road District. However, Miller claims the salt was given to the Road District, which means it was not ordered. Either way, ordered or given, it belonged to the Road District before it was given away.
20. Identify the person or entity you contend owned the salt given to the Railway Museum in your answer to paragraph 89 of the complaint.
ANSWER: “This salt was given to the Road District by various municipalities as surplus material. They were kept in a separate pile and given to the Illinois Railway Museum.”
Considering Miller signed his Interrogatory as being given under oath, let's evaluate that response in relation to his answers in a Request to Admit 2 months earlier.
From the Request to Admit:
3. You gave road salt belonging to Algonquin Township Road District to the Illinois Railway Museum.
Defendant ROBERT MILLER denies request number 3.
So what is he denying? That he gave the salt to IRM or that it belonged to the Road District?
To see the game being played you have to focus on ownership, which was part of the question raised and ignored by Miller in his interrogatory. Miller was asked to identify who owned the salt in the interrogatory and he confirmed it was "given to" the Road District by various municipalities but does not identify who owned it after it was given to the Road District. The proper inference is that the Road District owned it because he confirms it was given to them. Anyone with half a brain knows when someone gives you something it now belongs to you under most circumstances. In this case, if the salt was in fact "legally" given to the Road District by various municipalities, then it belongs to the Road District.
From the Request to Admit:
4. The salt You caused to be delivered to David Diamond of the Illinois Railway Museum was an asset to be used by Algonquin Township Road District for use on the roads of Algonquin Township.
Defendant ROBERT MILLER denies request number 4.
So is he denying he caused it to be delivered to David Diamon of the IRM or that it was an asset to be used by the Road District?
You may recall we raised the question as to why Miller would indicate the salt he allegedly recieved from various municipalities was kept in separate piles since it was given to the Road District. Separating it made no sense. We predict he will claim the salt he gave away was not the Road District's but rather salt of other municipalities. Taking such a position appears to be his attempt to avoid being held liable for giving away a Road District assets year after year. We are working on the FOIAs to the McHenry County municipalities to determine if any such salt was ever given to the Road District as Miller claimed.
Within the Final Report from the criminal investigation is a statement which points to this practice of giving away salt to the IRM was going on annually before 2014.
"During the course of our investigation, we uncovered an email from Diamond to Miller, dated December 1, 2014. In the email, Diamond states, “[i]t’s my annual request to see if you would be so kind once again to donate a load of salt for the IRM Christmas event.” That same day, Miller responds by email, “[y]es, Dave we would like to make that donation again.”
One can only wonder why the criminal investigation did not dig into this deeper to find out how many years this was going on, but based on the communication, it appears to have happened for at least 5 years, 2013-2017. While the State's Attorney found multiple reasons for not prosecuting, we know there is no provision for Road District assets to be given away to a non-profit as was done. That being the case, we will also predict that if, and that is a big if, this case ever gets before a judge or jury for a ruling, Miller will be liable for giving way an asset of the Road District for multiple years. This prediction is based on the clear language from the State's Attorney: "Further, the Township and/or Road District has an adequate civil remedy for any improper distribution of salt."
We urge everyone to read the entire Request to Admit and Interrogatories as the responses are most telling when compared to the Final Report and actual Township minutes., not to mention other records that failed to find their way into the Final Report during the criminal investigation.
Stay tuned for more to come.