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Algonquin Township highway commissioner pushes resolution denouncing nepotism hires

Trustees also will discuss malpractice insurance for all lawyers during meeting

Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser supervises his crew May 17 as they repave Deerpath Road in Algonquin.
Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser supervises his crew May 17 as they repave Deerpath Road in Algonquin.

Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser plans to bring a resolution to the township board Wednesday denouncing nepotism.

The resolution falls in line with Gasser’s political platform of ending the nepotism practiced by his predecessor, Bob Miller, whose department included several members of his family. 

But at least one township trustee calls Gasser’s resolution “grandstanding.”

“It’s nothing but a showboat routine,” Trustee Dan Shea said. “We would’ve been three-quarters of a million dollars richer if we would have left it alone.”

Shea was referring to the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on lawyers in legal battles Gasser sparked after he fired three union workers on his first day in office and sued Township Clerk Karen Lukasik over allegations that she intended to destroy records.

Gasser could not be reached for comment about the resolution.

Trustees will meet at 7 p.m.
Wednesday at the township offices,
3702 Route 14, Crystal Lake.

The board expects to discuss a number of other matters, township sources said, including:

• A resolution requiring all lawyers representing the township and highway department to carry malpractice insurance. The movement stems from frustrations with Gasser’s attorney, Robert Hanlon. The Woodstock lawyer is representing the highway commissioner in multiple lawsuits that have totaled more than $300,000 in the past year. Hanlon, who charges $375 an hour, does not carry malpractice insurance.

• The appointment of Jack Barrett as deputy clerk. Following on the heels of a lawsuit leveled against Lukasik by a downstate watchdog group, the Edgar County Watchdogs, the clerk resigned as a Freedom of Information Act officer to protect herself from “any liability” as it relates to public records laws. She said she would like to appoint Barrett as deputy clerk to handle those duties.

• The appointment of Trustee Dave Chapman as a special representative to coordinate the efforts of an unincorporated Lake in the Hills resident fighting the sale of a broken-down water system to a private company.

• Discussion and action concerning a prevailing wage ordinance.

• Discussion and action on the sale of tents, chairs and trailers to the township by way of the highway department. Township officials said Gasser will not provide equipment at community events and wants to sell gear to the township.

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