It is rare that Lyons Township High School calls upon those we serve with a request to take action, but in the best interests of the district and its students we are doing just that. You may recall that LT has been embroiled in an eight-year lawsuit brought by the Lyons Township Treasurer’s Office (TTO). I am pleased to report that the judge recently decided the case in favor of LT, denying all three major claims the TTO brought against us:
- payment for audit costs
- unpaid fees for business functions
- investment earnings
Finalizing this lawsuit means that LT will be able to leave the TTO, an antiquated organization whose services the district has not utilized in decades. I am writing to ask for your assistance in securing an end to this lawsuit.
Please email TTO President Michael Thiessen firstname.lastname@example.org, Trustee Nicholas Kantas email@example.com, Trustee Shakana Kirksey-Miller firstname.lastname@example.org and Treasurer Kenneth Getty email@example.com and urge them to accept the judge’s decision in the suit against LT and not to appeal the case.
This lawsuit has been financially draining to the TTO member districts and it has gone on long enough. After the judge’s ruling, five member districts (LADSE, D101, D102, D105 and D107) also voiced their desire to end this lawsuit once and for all and requested that the TTO not appeal. District 204 would appreciate your full support in bringing this suit to final closure.
The TTO was seeking in excess of $6 million in damages and interest for the three denied claims outlined above. LT will have to pay only about $750,000 for deductions we made from the TTO’s annual invoices from 2013-19. Most of these deductions were for a share of the TTO’s legal costs incurred in suing LT.
It is important to know that the TTO spent more than $4.1 million on this case, while LT’s insurance company paid for LT’s legal costs. The TTO had five lawyers from two law firms handling the trial, while LT had one lawyer. Unfortunately, a significant portion of the TTO’s legal costs will soon be passed on to its member districts.
The TTO filed suit against LT without these member districts’ input or consent, and now they will have to foot the $4.1 million TTO legal bill.
This lawsuit could have and should have been avoided. The judge’s decision repeatedly references the TTO’s refusal to conduct a forensic audit in 2012 and 2013, after its former treasurer’s thefts were uncovered. The TTO’s decision prevented all of its member districts from learning the true state of the TTO’s finances. In the lawsuit, the TTO repeatedly denied that it had a fiduciary duty to its member districts and fought LT’s efforts to obtain financial information from the TTO.
LT’s goals are simple – end the lawsuit, insist the TTO start working in the interests of the member districts and achieve a fair departure of LT from the TTO, without the need for further litigation. To these ends, LT calls for the following:
1. The TTO agrees to accept the judge’s decision without reconsideration or appeal.
2. The TTO retains and pays an independent audit firm acceptable to LT and the majority of districts to fully account for all unallocated investment income held at the TTO and the TTO’s claimed deficit.
Timothy B. Kilrea, superintendent, Lyons Township High School District 204