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updated: 6/28/2013 4:33 PM

Grafton Twp. litigation almost at an end

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  • James Kearns

      James Kearns

  • Linda Moore

      Linda Moore

 
 

One of the last remaining vestiges of former Grafton Township Supervisor Linda Moore's reign -- a lawsuit between her and the former road commissioner -- has been dismissed.

A McHenry County judge last week threw out the lawsuit in which then-road Commissioner Jack Freund accused Moore of refusing to pay the $1,850 monthly rent on office space she rented from the road district, of refusing to reimburse district officials for conference expenses and of refusing to reimburse him for his wife's health care coverage.

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Attorney Pat Coen represents the road district and argued for the suit's dismissal because the parties no longer hold elected office in the township, which deems the legal issues moot, he said.

"This means that the case is over unless somebody appeals," Coen said, "(But) I would never say never, just because there's always that opportunity."

Freund filed that lawsuit in 2011 and because Moore had already submitted a counterclaim, there was a chance the case could have dragged on. That was another incentive to end the litigation, Coen said.

Freund's lawsuit was dismissed last Friday. The Monday before the court hearing, the board authorized money to pay all for all the items Freund was seeking in court, Township Supervisor James Kearns said.

"I mean, there's nothing else to fight about anymore," Kearns said.

When Kearns took office in May, there were three lawsuits that involved township officials and Moore, cases Kearns dubbed "a whole lot of crazy."

Now there's only one -- a judge has already dismissed the 2011 lawsuit between Assessor Bill Ottley and Moore. Ottley was suing Moore over nearly $600 in unpaid bills.

Moreover, there's an indication the final lawsuit -- in which Moore and the former board appealed elements of a judge's ruling that restored her to power -- could be on its way out.

Moore's attorney, John Nelson, said he has filed a motion to dismiss that 2010 case for being moot as well; with the exception of Trustee Betty Zirk, the entire board was replaced in the spring elections.

The township has racked up more than $654,431 in legal fees since 2010, expenses officials blamed for ruining the township's finances and for nearly causing a government shutdown last spring.

"Hopefully the appellate court will decide the taxpayers of Grafton Township have had enough," Nelson said. "(The) motions have all been filed and we're simply awaiting a ruling."

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