Judge forces Grafton Twp. supervisor to pay bill
A judge has sided with Grafton Township trustees and ordered Township Supervisor Linda Moore to pay an outstanding bill.
But trustees have announced their intent to appeal two other parts of the December 2010 court order that dealt with who has the authority to hire and fire township employees.
The township board and Moore have been warring since she was elected in 2009.
According to court documents, trustees spent more than two years repeatedly directing Moore to pay the bill for a computer forensics company.
According to the board's petition, it hired Forensicon to determine how the township's financial records got erased from its computer system. Without the records, the township could not complete a special audit and had difficulty creating a reasonable budget, according to the petition.
When the matter went to court as part of the injunction proceedings, Moore admitted she was the one who deleted the records, the petition says. The deletion occurred on Feb. 15, 2010, the day before Pam Fender was due to start working as the township administrator, the complaint said.
"I moved them from a server to a computer because I didn't want to have a server because it's something that was left from the previous administration," Moore said. "They had ideas of people accessing the township records remotely, and I didn't think that was a safe practice."
None of the four trustees could be reached for comment.
Each time the board ordered Moore to pay the bill for $19,880.31, Moore apparently ignored the request until Judge Michael Caldwell ultimately ordered her to pay it on April 12.
Moore said she paid the bill that night at a subsequent board meeting.
"Whatever the judge ordered paid, I have paid," Moore said.
The extent of Moore's deletion is not known because Forensicon suspended its investigation for nonpayment, court records show. But Moore could soon find herself in even more legal trouble.
"It's a crime to destroy or remove public records and we never had any of the information we needed to go forward to the states' attorney," said Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, the attorney who represents the four trustees. She added that she is investigating whether to pursue criminal charges against Moore.
Meanwhile, trustees are appealing a portion of the order that rendered a decision over whether the board can hire township employees. Judge Caldwell said the board can hire employees, but that Moore gets to pick who they are, Krafthefer said. Moore ended up firing Fender as township administrator and the judge's order essentially backs her there.
They're also appealing another part of Caldwell's order that gave Moore the authority to fire the township attorney, who up until late 2010 was Krafthefer. Krafthefer works for Ancel Glink in Chicago and that firm represented the township.
In September, Moore dropped her legal fight against the board in which she tried to compel trustees to hire her personal attorney for the job. At the moment, there is no attorney working on the township's behalf.
Moore had been seeking a permanent injunction against the board, claiming the trustees changed the locks to her office and hired Fender against Moore's wishes.
The board, in turn, filed a petition asking that the judge force Moore to pay the overdue bill.
The rest of the board has 30 days from the judge's order to file their appeal.
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