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posted: 5/19/2010 12:01 AM

Grafton Township official: I couldn't do my job

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Grafton Township Administrator Pam Fender testified Tuesday that Supervisor Linda Moore has tried to prevent her from doing her job ­­- including attempting to fire her - making it difficult for Fender to arrange rides for seniors and pay the township's bills.

Fender's statements came on the third day of testimony in a pair of lawsuits over who should wear the pants in the township: Moore or the four-person board.

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Tuesday's testimony followed two days of witness testimony in the case last week. During most of last week's testimony, Moore defended her record as supervisor, answering questions about her handling of the Grafton Township Food Pantry, employees' bank accounts and the township's website.

On Tuesday, the township's attorneys tried to rebut Moore's testimony by presenting witnesses who said Moore accessed employees' bank accounts without permission and made it more difficult for seniors to use the township bus service.

Former Township Clerk Mary Hardy testified that Moore deposited money into her bank account and withdrew money from the same account without Hardy's permission - though she added she was never shorted money.

Donald Kruto, a Huntley resident, said Moore placed new restrictions on the senior transportation service, making it hard for him to get to the grocery store and a medical appointment at his convenience.

"After that, I just tried to avoid Dial-a-Ride," Kruto said. "The system doesn't work."

Fender testified that Moore's attempts to prevent her from using office space and computers in the township hall have forced her to buy her own laptop and work from home to complete township business.

Moore's attorney, John Nelson of Rockford, tried to show Fender herself took inappropriate actions. Fender admitted she opened mail addressed to the township supervisor's office without Moore's permission and posted on a blog about a resident whose request for financial assistance Moore had denied.

Fender added, though, that the mail was not specifically addressed to Moore and that she did not identify the person seeking aid.

Moore's lawsuit against the board accuses board members of trying to keep her out of her office and denying her access to township phones. It also seeks the court's permission to fire Fender and the township's lawyers.

Testimony continued in front of McHenry County Judge Michael Caldwell into the evening, and a decision was not expected for several weeks.

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