It’s Not The Event But The Cover-Up


In our previous post we wrote about how the Maine Township Assessor, Susan Moylan-Krey, doesn’t really assess anything but nevertheless runs at least a five-person office (herself included), and how she has crossed swords with The Reformers – new Trustees Dave Carrabotta, Claire McKenzie and Susan Sweeney – over whether the non-assessor’s job truly requires the 1,000 hours annually needed to qualify for one of those sweetheart public pensions.

Today we shed some light on how that battle has been waged – not only outside the public’s view, but also outside The Reformers’ view – by Moylan-Krey and Supervisor Lauren Morask, primarily through correspondence with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (“IMRF”).

After The Reformers refused in August 2017 to certify that the non-assessing Assessor’s position requires 1,000+ hours of work per year, Township “Bookkeeper” Denise Jajko e-mailed the IMRF’s then-general counsel, Kathy O’Brien, to inquire about Moylan-Krey’s appealing the non-certification and getting back on the pension contribution rolls. That inquiry set off a string of telephone calls and e-mails among O’Brien, Morask and Moylan-Krey from September 2017 into January 2018, some of which Township attorney Dan Dowd was copied on.

But guess what?

Nobody apparently advised The Reformers about the appeal until Morask finally provided them with a copy of her November 20, 2017 e-mail string containing the IMRF’s confirmation that Moylan-Krey’s appeal was successful – but not until the January 23, 2018 Board meeting, two months after she received that confirmation e-mail.

In other words, Morask, Moylan-Krey and attorney Dowd withheld from The Reformers all information regarding Moylan-Krey’s IMRF appeal not only during its two-month pendency but, also, for an additional two months AFTER the appeal had been adjudicated in Moylan-Krey’s favor – and her pension contributions had been reinstated at their customary rate of the Township (a/k/a, the taxpayers) matching Moylan-Krey’s monthly contribution by a ratio of more than 2.65 to 1.

Can you say “Unethical, dishonest and sleazy political gamesmanship”?

Of course you can!

Not until one of The Reformers, McKenzie, contacted IMRF and explained how Moylan-Krey’s situation had been concealed from The Reformers – and arguably misrepresented by Morask, et al. – did the IMRF’s new general counsel, in a January 26, 2018 letter, conclude that “all members of the Maine Township Governing Body have not been adequately informed of the IMRF administrative inquiries and decisions”; and that the Board, presumably acting through The Reformers’ majority, can appeal the results of Moylan-Krey’s secret appeal.

The seeming conspiracy of silence by Morask/Moylan-Krey/Dowd reeks so badly on so many levels that it’s hard to imagine how any of them could muster the chutzpah to continue in their respective positions. But from everything we’ve seen, heard and read about those three, they are nothing if not shameless when it comes to preserving their hegemony over the Township fiefdom.

Maybe it’s because Morask has been feeding at the Township trough for 17 years, while Moylan-Krey has spent the last 12 years rubbing elbows with her there. That kind of tenure generates an air of invincible entitlement that may explain why the fact that both of them have full-time private-sector jobs – Morask as a criminal trial attorney and principle in the Law Offices of Laura J. Morask, Moylan-Krey as a RE broker with Century 21 Langos & Christian – did not cause them even a fleeting concern about how incredible it looks for each of them to claim that their Township position requires at least 1,000 hours a year.

Instead, they appear to be blithely doubling down on their claims, challenging The Reformers to prove the negative: That those Township positions don’t require 1,000 hours.

Hopefully, the IMRF and its new general counsel see through that ruse.

And Dowd? He’s been the Township’s attorney since he was appointed – without any bidding or request for proposal – in 1994. Township paychecks have become like an annuity for him since the days when the likes of Mark Thompson, Gary Warner, Bob Provenzano, Carol Teschky and Bob Dudycz owned Maine Township government. Dowd knows on which side his bread is buttered, and by whom.

And he knows it’s not by The Reformers. Hence, his deafening silence about Moylan-Krey’s under-the-radar appeal.

Unfortunately, such perverse tenure virtually guarantees that Morask, Moylan-Krey and Dowd will not just slink away after being caught with their hands in the IMRF cookie jar.

But it should be interesting to see how much of a shelling those three take if/when the IMRF gets around to considering both sides of the Moylan-Krey issue, not just Moylan-Krey’s (and Morask’s) side presented while The Reformers were kept in the dark.

Hopefully the IMRF will demand that Moylan-Krey actually prove, with real evidence and not just the typical bunch of warm-and-fuzzy anecdotes, that the duties of her non-assessing Assessor’s job require 1,000 hours or more to perform, especially given that her office employs at least four deputy non-assessors; and given her self-proclaimed status as “a full time real estate professional.”

The same goes for Morask, whose criminal trial practice would similarly appear to be incompatible with a Supervisor’s position whose duties require 1,000 hours to perform.

As for Dowd, we can’t wait to hear him explain, on the record, whether his failure to report Moylan-Krey’s appeal to the full Township Board – including The Reformers – was the product of dishonesty, blatant favoritism, incompetence, or (with a nod to the late great Mike Royko) “aggravated mopery with intent to gawk.” Whichever explanation it turns out to be, however, this sordid situation is a clear indication that Dowd has outlived his Township annuity.

Exactly how much we taxpayers hear about these IMRF proceedings, however, will depend on whether The Reformers have finally and fully removed their training wheels and are willing to insist upon the kind of transparency and accountability that have been anathema to Morask, et al. and their predecessors for at least the past two decades. 

Meanwhile, attorneys Morask and Dowd should remember one of the lasting lessons of Watergate, as articulated by the late Tennessee Senator (and attorney) Howard Baker:

“It is almost always the cover-up rather than the event that causes trouble.”

To read or post comments, click on title.

5 comments so far

“Unethical, dishonest and sleazy political gamesmanship” is putting it mildly.

If there is nothing to assess, then Moylan-Krey should be paid nothing and she should have no staff. As I said in a comment to your last post, this is featherbedding at its worst, and a plain unvarnished rip-off of the taxpayers by Maine Township Republicans who act every bit as bad as the Maine Township Democrats.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’d love to see the job descriptions for each of those assessor staff jobs. Oh, wait, we already have: “The main role of the Assessor’s office is to serve our residents.” That sure saves time in doing their annual performance evaluations: “During the past year did employee serve our residents? [Yes] [No]”

As for MT Republicans, except for The Reformers (one of whom, McKenzie, is a self-proclaimed Democrat and won her Trustee seat under that banner), the rest of them appear to be card-carrying RINOs – not unlike so many other “Republican” officeholders in Illinois.

Also interesting to note that there has been a spike in attorney fees at Maine Township according to a memo from Trustee Kimberly Jones dated January 18, 2018 included in the meeting packet for the January 23, 2018 board meeting. In 2017 Dowd’s fees doubled to slightly over $30,000 over the previous three years which Jones blames on FOIA requests and complaints filed by Edgar County and the General Assistance employee dispute. Something is really stinky in Maine Township and their cozy little cabal. Hopefully The Reformers can bring an end to the horse hocky being thrown at the taxpayers by Morask, et. al.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’ve always said that the best way to avoid FOIA requests is to publish all the information on the gov’t body’s website. And for 95% of the FOIA requests that come in, a staffer – not an attorney – should be able to handle the response.

But if you’re a bunch of RINOs looking out for one of your long-time buddies – who got his position on a no-bid basis 20 years ago – throwing OPM at him is SOP.

I am offended by this blatant dishonesty. What I find disappointing is how it gets no attention by the local newspapers and only one comment on this blog.

I think that is because Maine Twp. government is just a pimple on the elephant’s butt and nobody really cares about it except the limited number of people who get benefits from it and, even more so, those public employees who have their soft political jobs running and operating it.

Where’s the outrage over this kind of scandal where Morask, Moylan-Krey, Jakko and Dowd conspire to secretly thwart the lawful action of a Board majority? And why didn’t the previoius IMRF attorney think something was suspicious about correspondence that did not include a cc to all Trustees?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Out of sight, out of mind?

Leave Township government alone, it works fine the way it is and has been for years. Your Reformers will be gone in four years.

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