Public Watchdog.org

Maine Township Investigation Report Released: Another Victory For H.I.T.A.

08.07.18

Last night a majority (barely) of Maine Township Trustees supplied the quorum for a special meeting, and then voted unanimously to release to the public the July 30, 2018 “Investigative Report” of the complaint of Trustee Kim Jones against Trustee Dave Carrabotta.

And before dawn’s early light today that Report was posted on the Township’s website – along with an August 5, 2018 letter from Jones to one of the Township’s attorneys, Keri-Lynn Krafthefer, ripping the Report, the “investigating attorneys” – even the court reporter’s transcripts of witness statements.

We recommend that you read both, especially if you have been following The Journal editor/publisher Todd Wessell’s regular pot-stirring articles/editorials about this situation over the past several weeks, or if you read the famous/infamous July 7, 2018 letter from the “10 Maine GOP Women”- including Jones herself, Supervisor Laura Morask, and non-Assessor Susan Moylan-Krey – to Maine Twp. Republican Committeeman Char Foss Eggemann, with copies to Gov. Bruce Rauner and several other notable Republicans.

We intend to share our views of this soap opera in greater detail in the coming days. This incident has many aspects that deserve something more than the slogans, sound-bites and rimshots that too often characterize what passes for public discourse these days. 

But for now we wish to remind our readers that it was Thomas Jefferson who wrote: “Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.”

And that’s why we wish to thank “The Reformers” – Carrabotta, Claire McKenzie and Susan Sweeney – for insisting on holding last night’s special meeting, for showing up to provide the necessary quorum, and for having the courage to vote to release the Report to the taxpayers who are paying for that Report, along with this particular drama and everything else that goes on at Maine Township.

Well done, people!

To read or post comments, click on title.

 

7 comments so far

The electrons are oscillating on the Concerned Homeowners FB page now that the report has been released, and Carrabotta is still guilty until proven innocent beyond a reasonable doubt.

Mary Wynn Ryan posted this: “Ginger Lee I still can’t believe they held this meeting and allowed one of the parties to a high-visibility conflict to vote, let alone in the absence of the other party. This is a miss, not a HITA” Do you think that is a shot at this blog?

EDITOR’S NOTE: We don’t know and we don’t care. She’s a nice enough person, but she represents entitlement/freeloader-style government on steroids.

And to paraphrase an old Smith Barney commercial featuring the esteemed John Houseman: Mary Wynn wouldn’t know H.I.T.A. if it walked up, bit her on the bottom and said “We’re here!” We can’t remember even one time when she voted against a closed session, either during her two years as a Park Ridge alderman (2005-07) or during her eight years on the Park Board (2007-15).

Your “Reformer” friends were the opposite of HITA holding the meeting when Morask and Jones could not attend and then holding the vote without letting the public speak. The meeting was illegal as was the vote because Carabotta has a conflict and should have abstained from voting. Horrible.

EDITOR’S NOTE: How, exactly, do you know they called the meeting knowing Morask and Jones could/would not attend? And how, exactly, was Carrabotta’s attendance and voting “a conflict”?

We’ll make it easy for you: It wasn’t.

The public should have been allowed to speak before the vote was taken, even though the Board attorney said that wasn’t required. But we doubt it would have changed the outcome, which was the right one.

Your reaction to this whole situation is outstandingly hypocritical, given your long-held positions on protecting taxpayers.

The last thing you should be doing right now is thanking “The Reformers.” Your “Reformers” are the ones that demanded this investigation be done in the first place. Jones made no formal complaint at the start of all this. It was Carrabotta who insisted on an investigation on the taxpayer’s dime. The Township attorneys then SOLICITED a formal complaint from her.

How much has this cost taxpayers so far? 10K? 20k? 30? Does anyone know? You have your Reformers to thank for that. All this needed to be was one trustee telling another trustee to stop being handsy. That is all it was until he flew into a rage and demanded public vindication for a claim that wasn’t even public.

Furthermore, the township’s attorneys have done such a colossally bad job managing this situation, and profiting off of it, this might very well end up costing taxpayer’s even MORE in legal battles.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This editor’s longest-held position is on transparency, which permits the taxpayers to protect themselves.

In our opinion Carrabotta was wrong to demand an investigation: He should have told Jones to take her complaint to the Illinois Dept. of Human Rights or the EEOC, which would have cost Maine Township taxpayers nothing. And it’s our understanding that Jones and Morask both supported the investigation (Jones’ filing of a “Formal Complaint” on May 25 allowed it to go forward, even though she could have ended this hot mess by refusing to file it), so both of them own this whole thing.

We also understand that it was Morask who insisted on Ancel Glink conducting the investigation, apparently because she didn’t understand how special counsel is normally used for such situations.

As for Jones telling Carrabotta not to be “handsy,” that presumes he was “handsy” in the first place. Can you say “Guilty until proven innocent”? But Jones apparently was incapable of doing that, at least until she reported the situation to the Ancel Glink attorney and was told by the attorney to confront Carrabotta. And let’s not forget that this “colossally bad job managing this situation, and profiting off of it” was done by Morask’s hand-
picked firm, whom Carrabotta and Sweeney both opposed. So that’s on Morask and Jones, too.

Laura Morask was planning to call a special meeting about the Ancel Glink report for today (Aug. 8), but Sweeney and McKenzie insisted on calling theirs for a night that they knew Laura and Kim could not be there. Now we have an incomplete report because the transcripts weren’t included. Not HITA.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Morask claimed she “was planning” a special meeting only AFTER McKenzie and Sweeney already had called theirs. And if Morask really wanted to make sure the transcripts were included, she STILL could have called her meeting for tonight to address those issues.

But she didn’t, because she couldn’t spell “Transparency” if you gave her the T, R, N, S, P and Y – and let her buy two vowels.

Just imaging for a moment if the situation had been reversed. Imagine if your “reformers” had been unable to attend and it was rammed through anyway. Your head would literally have exploded and you would have taken the exact opposite position you have taken above.

People in the same political party can’t even resist screwing each other…..yeah politics!!!

Sweeney knocked on my door hawking for the 55th race. If this is the way she treats her fellow R’s can you even imaging what she would like to to the D’s??

Did you have any conversations with Sweeny et al as this was going on?? Maybe a little advice??

EDITOR’S NOTE: Why not just imagine no possessions (I wonder if you can); no need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man.

All the woulda-s, coulda-s and shoulda-s were in Morask’s control, yet as we understand it: (a) Morask was asked by The Reformers to publish the Report the day after its July 30 release, but she refused; (b) Morask never attempted to call a special meeting (using Jones as her second requestor), including for August 8; (c) only after McKenzie and Sweeney called for the August 6 meeting did Morask say she couldn’t make it yet, even then, she did not attempt to call her own special meeting to deal with those issues she now claims The Reformers ignored Monday night.

Carrabotta and Sweeney are Republicans; McKenzie is a Democrat; and Morask, Jones, non-Assessor Moylan-Krey, et al. are self-serving RINOs – like Thompson, Dudycz, Teschky, Provenzano, Warner, et al. before them – all running Maine Township as their little fiefdom for their own benefit and that of their families, friends and sycophants.

The advice this editor gives anyone who asks for it – and even those who don’t – is H.I.T.A. Morask probably couldn’t even spell that if you gave her the H and the T, and let her buy a vowel. But The Reformers’ practice of H.I.T.A. Monday night is the ONLY reason you and your fellow taxpayers have been able to read the Report for the past two days.

I think that some of the comments miss a couple of salient points. With five trustees, three votes are a majority. It doesn’t matter whether Jones and Morask were present or not, the report would have been released. And if Carrabotta were not allowed to vote because of a conflict of interest, Jones would not have been allowed to vote either. So the exact same result would have been achieved either by a 2-1 vote (Sweeney and McKenzie vs Morask) or a 3-0 vote (Morask voting with the majority). The comments seem to be distractions from the real issue here – the public deserves to see the report.

From Park Ridge Herald Advocate/Chicago Tribune:

Jones said the trustees’ action to release the attorney’s report was “illegal,” explaining that Carrabotta should not have cast a vote.

“Dave Carrabotta should have recused himself just as I would have if we had had the meeting on Wednesday,” Jones said. “If he had recused himself as he should have, then they would not have had a quorum.”

Without a quorum, the meeting would not have been able to take place under law.

Morask agreed that Carrabotta should not have voted, saying the terms of the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act should apply in this case.

“Under the state ethics act made applicable to all local governments, a ‘legislator’ — or, in this case, a trustee — should not be voting on his own findings, nor anything in which they have a personal stake. Neither should Kim,” Morask said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If Jones and Morask believe what The Reformers did was illegal, let them file complaints with the IL Atty. General or go to court. Similarly, if Jones think she got a bad investigation, let her file a complaint with the Illinois Human Rights Commission or the EEOC.

Otherwise, this is just more sour grapes bluster from two-bit RINO politicians who are unhappy being on the losing side of another vote.



Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>