Troubling information obtained through FOIA – Pattern of abusive behavior by Highway Commissioner Calvin Jordan & Trustee Nick Bobis

 To: Township Residents and Interested Parties 

From: The Integrity Party of Rich Township

Date: March 27, 2021

RE: Pattern of abusive behavior by Highway Commissioner Calvin Jordan
Trustee Nick Bobis
 

Thank you to the positive feedback we received on our last memo. It is important that we raise issues regarding matters that are in the public record. We will not make unfounded and defamatory accusations as has been done towards our slate. 

Attached please find documents that lead to questions of a pattern of abusive behavior towards Township employees, contractors and representatives of organizations that have relationships with the Township.  These documents concern the behavior of Highway Commissioner Calvin Jordan and Trustee Nick Bobis. As with the documents presented in the last memo, an outside individual requested, via a Freedom of Information Act request for “Any and all documents, notes, files, electronic recordings regarding any elected official of the Township that has been accused of or committed or was involved in any types of harassment of staff or anyone associated with the Township entities during his or her conduct as an elected official.”

Synopsis of documents outlining abusive behavior by Highway Commissioner Jordan

Earlier this year, a Township consultant wrote a memo to Supervisor Riley to express her “utter dismay” in regards to a series of encounters with Commissioner Jordan. The encounters came to a head with a phone call she received  on February 11 from a political staffer or agent of Jordan. The memo reveals that Jordan directed the  political staffer to contact the consultant  regarding public Township  business and in doing so violated her confidentiality. The memo ended with the consultant  noting that she did not “care to be the recipient of another verbal attack from Mr. Jordan.” Attached please find three documents related to this incident. 

Synopsis of documents outlining abusive behavior by Trustee Bobis 

In 2017, an employee of a community based organization reached out to Supervisor Riley via text to express concern about her interactions with Trustee Bobis that led to the organization removing him from the organization’s volunteer list. In 2018 another Trustee wrote a memo to Bobis stating that his conduct during a Township board meeting was “hostile, personal and unprofessional.” Lastly, in 2019, an employee sent a written complaint to Supervisor Riley that outlined an incident with Bobis that left the employee “feeling very uncomfortable and confused.” Additionally, the employee wrote that she “did not understand the origins of the hostility towards me.” Attached please find three documents related to these incidents. 

The public officials elected to represent Rich Township have an obligation to treat employees, contractors, consultants, their colleagues, and community partners with respect. Failure to do so creates a hostile environment, damages the Township’s reputation, and could be costly to taxpayers in that the Township will be a less attractive place to work and do business.  . Please read the following documents as you evaluate the candidates for office in Rich Township.

In solidarity for Rich Township,

The Senior Center is fully operational except for some in-person activities. These charts and the early COVID outbreak at the Ludeman Center prompted modified activities.

Rich Township Supervisor Al Riley response to Senior mail piece

They’re at it again, but this time they’re using our seniors in their political misinformation mail pieces. First of all, the Rich Township Senior Center is operational, albeit under strict COVID mitigation protocols as directed by IDPH. A recent Rich Township newsletter profiles our Meals on Wheels program, our vital in-home care program, which are fully operational. Volunteers and staff are there every day. We’ve implemented virtual activities to replace the in-person classes. We have our monthly newsletter to seniors and periodic well-being checks by telephone. That doesn’t sound like the senior center being closed to me, despite the mailer with the jagged letters and glasses I haven’t worn in over a decade.

Unfortunately, parts of our area, especially around where the senior center is located, was one of the largest COVID hotspots in the metropolitan area, especially for people age 60 or over. So, it was common sense and good health policy to postpone on-site services until we are told that it is safe to do so. We know for a fact that our clients would much rather give up playing bunko and line dancing for a while, in exchange for being able to see their grandchildren safely one day. The piece then rolls out the same lies and misinformation that you’ve seen on many of their other mail pieces.

As I said before, someone that would stoop to these levels are not fit to develop policy for you and certainly not to spend your tax dollars. Go to AlRiley.com to learn more about the Integrity Party of Rich Township and again, see these baseless claims addressed.

Thank you.   

Rich Township Supervisor Al Riley

Check the Facts on a Recent Phone Poll Containing False and Misleading Statements

FALSE:  Al Riley gave himself a $70,000 pay raise for a part-time job

The Supervisor’s position was once a part-time position with a full-time administrator reporting to the Supervisor.  This is typical in many units of government such as cities and villages.  Supervisor Riley took on the day-to-day administrative responsibilities of the Township since returning from the state legislature.  Since January 2019, Supervisor Riley regularly works well in excess of 40 hours a week as CEO of the Township, not even counting evening Board meetings and his other outreach efforts in the community.  The stipend (not a salary) for the position of Township Supervisor had been $30,000 per year. Riley was not compensated for days he was in session in Springfield, so the stipend was much lower. The stipend increase to $70,000 (not a $70,000 “raise”) was unanimously passed by the current Township Board in late 2016 for the 2017-2021 term, in accordance with Illinois law.  

FALSE: Al Riley has created a “Toxic Environment” at the Township 

This is false.  Al Riley has not been hesitant to confront even the appearance of impropriety, be it Highway Commissioner Calvin Jordan’s questionable use of Township funds and resources, or Trustees Bobis, Small, and Goodrich concerning their poor judgment and lack of understanding of Illinois Township law.  For many of the hard-working men and women employed by the Township, the working environment is one where fairness and protection of personal rights is at the forefront of daily operations.  

  • Allegations of an $80,000 sexual harassment settlement:
    • Demonstrably false 
    • Probably defamatory
  • Supervisor Riley’s record on all forms of harassment:
    • Asked by his colleagues to serve on harassment committees as a member of the Illinois House
    • Involved in passage of anti-bullying legislation 
    • Wrote Township ordinances and revised  sections of the personnel manual to strengthen safeguards against any form of harassment
    • Instituted yearly harassment training for all employees and elected officials of the Township
    • Swiftly addressed harassment allegations against Township elected officials 
    • Lifelong history of combating harassment; 2018 inductee into the Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame partially based on his training of women in personal protection and self-defense and passage of anti-bullying legislation 

FALSE:  Supervisor Riley has been giving out “No Bid Contracts” to “political friends”  

Who? All potential vendors are vetted with the requesting department head and evaluated and selected based on merit and demonstrated accomplishments. All work contracted for has a concomitant appropriation from the budget approved by the Township Board.  Contracts are awarded as outlined by the Illinois Municipal Purchasing Act. This authority has been used by the Supervisor on a normal or emergency basis, as necessary on behalf of Rich Township.

FALSE: Supervisor Riley hired an employee accused of “unethical” conduct

Who? Since belt-tightening in 2015, very few employees have been hired at Rich Township in an effort by the Township to be a good steward of public tax dollars.  There has been a mixture of full and part time employees in the Maintenance and General Assistance departments and the Assessors’ office. These hires, five or six in number, were requested by the Department Head or Constitutional Officer. Township personnel policies instituted by the Supervisor ensure Rich Township employees maintain and live up to the ethical conduct that is expected of public employees. Supervisor Riley has disciplined and, when necessary, terminated any employee who fails to meet those ethical expectations. 

Finally, Supervisor Riley, in the interest of transparency, has always made it simple for the public to obtain Township information; recorded or transcribed minutes, agendas, budgets, etc. easily accessible to the public.  This accessibility can be facilitated on the Township website or through a Freedom of Information request.