Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Woodstock Attorney Volunteers To Solve Grafton Disputes--Free
Supervisor Linda Moore's attorney John Nelson wanted to argue his case seeking penalties including jail time against trustees for violating Judge Michael Caldwell's order about who has the right to do what in Grafton Township. However, trustees' attorney Robert K. Bush complained he'd only just received Nelson's written arguments so Caldwell pushed the case off until Aug. 20.
Half an hour later, Assessor Bill Ottley's attorney, Michael Poper. complained to Judge Thomas Meyer that "We filed this case in January and we're still arguing about fees," so Meyer set a trial date for Nov. 14. Ottley's suing Moore, who pays his office's bills, for allegedly botching them so badly no one's willing to provide him services or goods anymore. The fees argument about how much to pay Nelson for defending Moore was postponed until later since Meyer said case material had been sent to Caldwell instead of to him.
As the Ottley case was waiting to come up, however, Woodstock lawyer Rober T. Hanlon handed Moore and Trustees Barb Murphy and Betty Zirk copies of a letter offering to mediate a resolution to Grafton Township's tangled web of conflict at no charge.
Murphy seemed interested but said she'd have to consult with the rest of the Board. Moore said, "I haven't even read (the letter) yet."
A former Chicago banker, Hanlon isn't a resident of Grafton Township and has no apparent connection to either side in the tangled conflicts. He told FEN his mediation offer just seemed like the right thing to do. "I don't want to seem altruistic but the cold fact is the People's money is being spent and there's a way to resolve it. There always is."
On the other hand, according to attorney rumor, Hanlon aspires to a judicial appointment but has a conspicuously empty spot on his resume. "I don't have any experience with dispute resolution," Hanlon told Nelson in the hallway.
One Grafton observer shrugged that off saying, "It couldn't hurt," then paused and added, "The price is right."