Both sides claim victory after Grafton ruling
Both sides are claiming victory after a recent ruling in the legal dispute between officials in Grafton Township.
McHenry County Judge Michael Caldwell has ruled in the court fight between Township Supervisor Linda Moore and the township's four trustees.
The competing lawsuits filed by the sides asked the judge to mediate numerous disputes but mainly centered on the question of who has decision-making power in the township.
On the one hand, Caldwell's decision says Moore has the right to fire township employees, essentially affirming Moore's dismissal of Township Administrator Pam Fender and Chicago-based law firm Ancel Glink, which has been serving as the township's legal counsel.
"He said trustees were taking authority they did not have with hiring someone to be my boss, which he said nullified my election as supervisor," Moore said. "I'm satisfied with it, yes."
But on the other hand, Caldwell said Moore must return backup hard drives and financial records to the township and present disputed bills to the township board for approval.
"I think it was a significant victory for the trustees," said Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, the Chicago attorney who represented the trustees. "It basically orders Linda to do her job."
While calling Moore's affirmed firing of Fender and Ancel Glink "two minor issues," Krafthefer conceded that in the wake of the ruling, "We do not represent the township."
Earlier this year, the trustees hired Fender, also a Huntley village trustee, to conduct day-to-day business because they said they could no longer work with Moore.
Fender said her last day was Friday. On Monday, she applied for unemployment.
"It's been a strange year," Fender said. "I needed a job, I took a job, I did the job to the best of my abilities ... I personally am trying to figure out my own financial future."
Moore said she had no problem returning the documents and hardware.
"I'm glad to get that space back in my house," Moore said.
But Moore and Fender said the decision raises as many questions as it answers.
"It's going to take time to get all of this put in place and sorted through," Moore said.
On Friday, attorneys plan to seek clarification on some of the issues raised in the case, including whether Moore now has to pay all the disputed bills.
Township Trustee Rob LaPorta could not be reached for comment.