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Algonquin Township clerk offers to resign, accept buyout as part of settlement

Clerk gives option to resign or remain in office with sole access to records

Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik has offered settlement terms to Supervisor Charles Lutzow and Algonquin Township trustees over allegations stemming from a 2-year-old lawsuit claiming she tried to destroy public records.

The dispute is one of several that have cost the township hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

In an email from David McArdle – who was appointed by the township to represent Lukasik in the matter – to township attorney James Kelly, Lukasik offered to settle the matter with Lutzow under one of two conditions.

The first option would be for Lukasik to resign as township clerk and dismiss her counterclaim in exchange for $65,000 – about three-and-a-half times her current salary of $18,492.88 as clerk.

A statement also must be included in the court order that no party in the proceeding has any evidence to indicate that Lukasik wrongfully destroyed township records during her term in office or did anything wrong while she served.

The second option would be for Lukasik to maintain her position and dismiss the counterclaim in exchange for $36,000.

The statement denying Lukasik of any wrongdoing also must be included along with an agreement that the township implement a process where only Lukasik has access to rooms where records are kept. The current FOB system for doors to records rooms must be disabled in exchange for a bolt lock that Lukasik will have the only key for.

If the settlement payment was considered severance, that would make either agreement against state law because of changes that began on Jan. 1, capping severance payments to governments employees at 20 weeks of pay.

In a June 2017 court filing, Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser alleged Lukasik was out to destroy township records, including receipts that he said show former Highway Commissioner Bob Miller used public funds to buy handbags, women’s clothing and other personal items. Gasser’s injunction names Lukasik, Miller and Miller’s wife, Anna May Miller, who worked as her husband’s secretary.

A pretrial hearing on the case is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday.

The Millers and Lukasik, meanwhile, filed a counter lawsuit a week later against Gasser and Lutzow, records show.

Lukasik made allegations against Lutzow, Gasser and Lutzow’s former chief of staff Ryan Provenzano related to an incident in which she claims she was spied on via a hidden Nest security camera in the township building.

McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally recently said that there would not be criminal charges filed in the matter. In a letter to Lukasik, Kenneally wrote that he would not petition for a special prosecutor to address her allegations.

Lukasik and Kelly could not be reached for comment Thursday.

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