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posted: 3/31/2010 12:01 AM

Court orders phone calls, Moore back to Grafton Township hall

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Grafton Township Supervisor Linda Moore, phone calls from constituents and cooperation among public officials are heading back to their rightful place in township hall, a judge ordered Tuesday.

Well, two out of three anyhow.

McHenry County Judge Michael Caldwell settled - at least temporarily - the latest dispute between Moore and the township board decreeing that she should be allowed back in her original office at township hall and she cannot reroute township phone calls to her home.

The judge also ordered that Moore, Township Administrator Pam Fender and other officials work together and allow one another access to township facilities, equipment and resources.

"The phones will be restored to township hall and the supervisor will be restored to her office," Caldwell said. "There will be no interference from anybody."

The order stands until at least April 13, when Caldwell will open a hearing on a lawsuit and countersuit Moore and the township board filed against one another earlier this month.

How well the two sides can comply with the third portion of Caldwell's order - the part requiring cooperation - remains to be seen. Just minutes after the judge issued his ruling, the parties were outside his courtroom arguing over what part of township hall constituted Moore's original office.

Eventually, they stepped back up before the judge with a floor plan of the building hastily drawn on yellow legal paper to delineate the office location.

At one point in the proceedings, Caldwell scolded township officials for speaking out of turn as they stood before them and threatened them with being found in contempt of court.

Township officials' decision to move Moore out of her previous office into another room in township hall has been among the main bones of contention between them over the past several months. In her lawsuit against trustees, Moore claims the move was intended to prevent her from performing her official duties.

Last week, officials said, Moore had incoming township phone calls rerouted to her home, where she had been working in recent weeks.

Moore said Tuesday she is uncertain when she will return to work at township hall.

"I'm taking it one step at a time," she said. "I think it's kind of going to be a nutty day."

Thomas DiCianni, attorney for township trustees, declined to comment, but Moore attorney John Nelson pledged his client would work with other officials.

"They're going to have to swallow really hard and get along," he said.

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