Local

Second 'fake news' attack at Algonquin Township Highway Department short-lived

A second "fake news" message outside the Algonquin Township Highway Department was short-lived Tuesday. Trustee Rachael Lawrence removed the letters from the sign.
A second "fake news" message outside the Algonquin Township Highway Department was short-lived Tuesday. Trustee Rachael Lawrence removed the letters from the sign.

A second message decrying the Northwest Herald as “fake news” appeared Tuesday on a government-owned sign planted outside the Algonquin Township Highway Department.

But the anti-media attack was short-lived.

Trustee Rachael Lawrence called Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser on Tuesday morning, she said, and alerted him that she would remove the message from the sign if he did not do it himself.

“Don’t touch my sign,” Gasser told her, Lawrence said.

She later removed the letters that spelled out: “SENIOR BUS IS NOT ABANDONED. MORE UNETHICAL NORTHWORST HERALD FAKE NEWS.”

After removing the letters from the marquee at 3702 Route 14, Lawrence returned the letters to the highway department’s front office.

“The reason why I came out here to take it down is because I don’t see anybody else doing it, and it needed to be done,” Lawrence said. “This property is Algonquin Township property, and Andrew Gasser doesn’t speak for Algonquin Township or its board.”

Gasser’s statement marked the second time in the past week that he used government property to label the Northwest Herald as “fake news.”

Tuesday also marked the second time Lawrence visited the township and removed the highway commissioner’s marquee message, she said.

Gasser could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Supervisor Charles Lutzow said he respects the newspaper and doesn’t believe it’s “fake news.”

Lawrence took down Gasser’s first “fake news” message Saturday, she said.

“If the people want to consider a method of preventing this from ever happening again – short of removing the sign – then they should reconsider my resolution to abolish the road district,” Lawrence told the Northwest Herald.

In an email to Lutzow on Tuesday, Lawrence wrote, “In the meantime, I strongly urge you, as CEO and supervisor of Algonquin Township and its property, to consider the fact that the road district is merely an occupant of township-owned land, and Algonquin Township is the lessor of that property. If the road district cannot abide by basic standards, the township is not required to continue to allow the road district use of township property.”

Trustee Melissa Victor summed up Gasser’s actions with the government sign this way: “Childish.”

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