Local

Algonquin Township highway commissioner's attorney has no malpractice coverage, records show

Robert Hanlon
Robert Hanlon

Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser sued fellow Algonquin Township officials for trying to control parts of the highway department, but they still expect his lawyer, Robert Hanlon, to provide proof he has malpractice insurance.

“If he has a different policy, then why didn’t he show it in the first place?” Trustee Melissa Victor said. “This is another political game and a way for him to make more money and take more taxpayer dollars.”

The township board voted, 4-1, Wednesday to require all lawyers representing township officials to carry malpractice insurance.

On Thursday, Gasser sued Supervisor Charles Lutzow and all but one township trustee – Rachael Lawrence, who voted against the resolution.

The new lawsuit alleges that the township “unlawfully restricted and interfered” with Gasser’s “constitutionally protected interests as an elected official to run a unit of local government.”

In an email, Hanlon said the lawsuit had nothing to do with his insurance.

“I have insurance covered under one of the ordinances,” said Hanlon, who did not share the details of his policy, which he later described as “E/O insurance, which is not the same but has highly similar coverages.”

“E/O” translates to “errors and omissions” – a form of insurance that protects companies or individuals from liabilities that stem from poor work. It is a common policy on the corporate boards of businesses, nonprofits and schools.

“The board reacted without investigation,” Hanlon wrote in an email.

Victor disputed that.

“We did investigate,” she said.

Township officials went to the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission website. The ARDC investigates lawyer malpractice and provides information about attorneys, including whether they carry malpractice insurance.

Hanlon last registered with the ARDC on Feb. 6. At that time, he affirmed that he did not have malpractice insurance, according to the ARDC’s registration department.

The last time Hanlon reported having malpractice coverage was 2015. In 2016, he reported that he did not carry it.

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