Grafton Township Supervisor Linda Moore has ended her legal fight to compel the rest of the board to hire her pick for township attorney.
Moore announced Friday that she would not appeal her case to the Illinois Supreme Court, pointing to a potentially lengthy legal morass that could cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. She instead will continue to nominate other attorneys for the spot.
"I need to do the job I was elected to do," Moore said. "Every time the trustees prevent me from doing the job I was elected to do, I've got more problems."
Earlier this year, Moore named Rockford-based attorney John Nelson as township attorney after a court decision severed the township's relationship with its former attorney, Keri-Lyn Krafthefer of Chicago-based Ancel-Glink.
But township trustees rejected Nelson's nomination in a 4-1 vote.
Moore then filed a motion with the circuit court seeking an injunction to force the board to confirm her nomination of Nelson, who represents Moore in other legal matters with the board over the way the township is run.
The trial court granted the motion.
But in an opinion filed last month, the Second District Appellate Court ruled that the Circuit Court of McHenry County could not order township trustees to hire Nelson.
This legal battle already has proved costly.
As it is now, Ancel-Glink, the firm representing the trustees, has charged $57,379 for their appeal to the Second District and Nelson has charged $11,707, Moore said.
"Although I think it could win at the supreme level, in the end I don't think it would be the best way to serve the taxpayers," Moore said.
Trustee Betty Zirk disputes the $57,379 figure Moore cited and says the figure is lower, but she didn't have an exact number. She added that Moore dropped the case because the writing was on the wall that she'd lose.
"If they would have taken it (to the supreme court)," Zirk said, "I don't think they would have came out with a different answer than what we got through the appeals case."
On Thursday night, trustees hired attorney Michael Torchalski as a special counsel for real estate transactions within the township.
Moore does not yet know when she will name a permanent attorney.
"We do need a township attorney, but I think we need to just slow down and think about things," Moore said. "We're going to take things one step at a time."
Drop: Legal battle has proved costly