Did Grafton Twp. Supervisor have authority to void check?
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Outgoing Grafton Township Supervisor Linda Moore acknowledges she voided a $300,000 check meant for the road district so she could make payroll and pay off township bills.
Although the board was scheduled to hold a special meeting the next day to deal with those issues, Moore acted on her own a day earlier. If she hadn't, she says, township employees wouldn't have gotten paid.
"We needed to make our payments in a timely manner," Moore said."Trustee(Betty) Zirk and I both felt it was important to meet our payrollobligations and pay our monthly bills in a timely manner."
But Pam Fender and James Kearns, who are running for township supervisor, question the legality of what was done. So does Ron Roeser, a longtime township attorney, who has never represented Grafton Township.
About a week before Moore voided the check, the board directed her to pay $300,000 owed to Grafton Township Road Commissioner Jack Freund so he, in turn, could pay off a loan taken out by his department.
But Zirk asked to meet with Moore and Freund, as the township was on the verge of missing payroll. Freund returned the check to Moore and she voided it, which allowed her to meet payroll and pay the monthly bills, she said.
That's where Moore went wrong, Roeser said, because the board had already told her to pay Freund, and she has 20 days to do so.
"Supervisor presents bills, board approves payment, supervisor is to pay them," Roeser said.
At a special meeting the following day, the board issued a $250,000 check to Freund for his own loan.
Freund in turn agreed to lend up to $110,000 to the township, a figure that will help the township pay its bills through the first half of this month. The township agreed to repay the loan with 4 percent interest by July 1.
"I hate to see people get laid off just because they run out of money or it wasn't managed right," Freund said.
Moore, meanwhile, questions Roeser's familiarity with the situation in Grafton Township.
"The payment will be made, it just will be made within the 20 day period required by law," Moore said, "so within one day we did have a meeting and the board did approve that retroactively."
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