Will Co. (ECWd) -
If you're a newcomer to the exposures of Joliet Township's malfeasance we urge you to review all the prior articles to get a grasp on how bad things really are. You can review those articles at this link.
We exposed what has all the appearances of ghost contracting by the Township in this article. As outlined, the Township appointed a former board member to be the attorney for the Road District, and to date, not a single invoice for work has been found by the Township yet he recieved regular monthly checks up until October 23, 2019.
The Township Board has limited powers in appointing an attorney for the Road District and one of the key criteria is they must have the approval of the Road District Highway Commissioner as outlined by statute.
(60 ILCS 1/100-5)
Sec. 100-5(c) Unless otherwise provided and if approved by the highway commissioner, the township board of trustees may employ and fix the compensation of a separate township attorney who shall represent the highway commissioner. Such compensation shall be paid out of the township road fund. (Source: P.A. 90-190, eff. 7-24-97.)
Upon publishing the prior article we submitted a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the highway commissioner's approval of that appointment, which you can see above is clearly required.
"Copy of approval by the Road District Highway Commissioner to allow the Township Board to hire legal counsel Robert Wisniewski. Such approval would have been by the past Highway Commissioner."
Just as we suspected based on verbal discussions with Road District officials, past and present, there was no such approval ever provided to the Township Board. The Township Clerk responded with a simple, "no documents", to our request.
This is yet another example of overpaid public officials who can't seem to follow even the most basic laws on the books for Township Government. In this case, a law with only two sentences.
We believe all of the funds paid to this attorney are recoverable as there are no invoices to show he ever did any work. We urge Joliet Township residents to take action to recover those funds as it is their money that was improperly distributed to a private attorney since May of 2017.
Stay tuned as the circus tent in Joliet appears to be expanding!