Algonquin Township board members have approved the hiring of Woodstock attorney Philip Prossnitz to represent Supervisor Charles Lutzow in a lawsuit involving the road district.
All four trustees voted in favor of Prossnitz representing Lutzow at a rate of no more than $250 an hour.
In January, Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser alleged in a lawsuit that Lutzow committed constructive fraud when he opened highway department accounts at American Community Bank and named the accounts something other than “Algonquin Township Road District.”
“The failure to keep the financial accounts of the road district in the name of the road district is the gist of the complaint,” Gasser’s Woodstock-based attorney, Robert Hanlon, wrote in the complaint.
The six-page lawsuit asks for at least $1 million in compensation and punitive damages totaling “at least three times the amount” of road district funds held in accounts “in names other than the Algonquin Township Road District.”
The accounts, managed by Lutzow, instead are named “Algonquin Township Highway Equipment & Building” and “Algonquin Township Highway Road & Bridge Fund.”
Gasser could not be reached for comment, but in an email, Hanlon said this about the lawsuit: “First, I have made it abundantly clear to you that I do not discuss any of my clients’ business in the tabloids. That is all I have to say about your inquiry of today.”
The road district’s civil suit that was filed Thursday alleges that Lutzow, working as the highway department’s treasurer, transferred road district money from Fifth Third Bank to American Community Bank “but did not put those monies into an account in the name of the road district.”
What Lutzow actually did, he said, was open multiple accounts – each corresponding to different funds within the township and highway department.
Mary Miller, the township’s longtime accountant, called the lawsuit a “frivolous” attack filed without any merits to support it.
McHenry County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Meyer will address the case for the first time at 9 a.m. April 11.