Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty teeth.

First Inaugural Address of George Washington...April 30, 1789

The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.

The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Abraham Lincoln said:

"In this age, and in this country, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it nothing can suceed. Whoever molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes, or pronounces judicial decisions."

James Madison Declared

The adversaries of the Constitution seem to have lost sight of the PEOPLE altogether in their reasonings on this subject; and to have viewed these different establishments not only as mutual rivals and enemies, but as uncontrolled by any common superior in their efforts to usurp the authorities of each other. These gentlemen must be reminded of their error. They must be told that the ULTIMATE AUTHORITY, wherever the derivative may be found, RESIDES IN THE PEOPLE ALONE. (Federalist Papers, No. 46, p.294; emphasis added.)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Woodstock....City Divided

In unity there is strength and solidarity. In division there is weakness and individuality. It appears that some elements within the City Government and certain departments of Woodstock Illinois have chosen to take the road to weakness and individuality, where the "wants" of the one or few take precedent over the good of the many: where ego and the need to "win" overwhelms common sense and where the high cost to the taxpayer does not enter into the equation even in these hard times.

On March 7, 2008, about one month following the unanimous decision (3 to 0) of the Woodstock Board of Fire and Police Commissioners to reinstate Sergeant Steven R. Gorski and to pay him all his back pay along with interest as dictated by State statute the Police Chief Robert W. Lowen Jr. filed through his City paid attorneys, Zukowski, Rogers, Flood and McArdle in the Circuit Court of the 22nd Judicial Circuit McHenry County, Illinois a COMPLAINT IN ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW against the City's own Board of Fire and Police Commissioners of Woodstock Illinois and now the Board's new co-defendant, Sergeant Steven R. Gorski. So with this filing by the Chief of Police Robert W. Lowen Jr.against the City's own Board of Fire and Police Commissioners we have a situation where the City is paying both for the Chief's attorneys and the Board's attorney. This is a very interesting use of the tax payers of Woodstock's money. Someone should ask who authorized the Chief to pursue further costly legal action in this matter: to date no one has that I know of. It seems that the only entity involved in this scenario that would come out ahead would allegedly be the firm of Zukowski, Rogers, Flood and McArdle because I am sure they will be paid promptly by the City of Woodstock.

Oh, by the way, not one penny was paid to Sergeant Gorski following the order(directive) of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners to do so. Why would anyone now or in the future want to be on the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners if their decisions and directives are not obeyed and honored. In fact why even have a Board of Fire and Police Commissioners if its actions and decisions mean nothing and only (according to some allegedly) just rubber stamp the decisions of the Chief....obviously this time they did not...and that is why we are allegedly in this current situation. In the end however no matter how this turns out the legal fees will be paid to Zukowski, Rogers, Flood and McArdle at the tax payers expense...isn't that the way it seems to always end.

I don't know who is going to live happily ever after but I sure hope that its the Sergeant, his family and three young daughters. I am sure the City and the lawyers will continue to survive nicely.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


It took the Justice Department of the Federal Government over 5 years of legal shenanigans, delaying tactics and probably hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars of legal costs to realize that they were on the wrong road in trying to connect Mr. Steven Hatfill with the 2001 anthrax attacks. On June 27, 2008 the Justice Department agreed to pay Hatfill a settlement valued at $5.85 million just to drop a lawsuit against them. The scientist Mr. Hatfill stood his ground against the might of of Feds and won . He contended that his privacy rights were violated in the rush to solve the heinous crimes.

Some contend and allege that a similar situation (except we are not talking criminal) is brewing in the City of Woodstock's Police Department and with its Chief of Police, Robert W. Lowen Jr. and the City's own Board of Fire and Police Commissioners and now co-defendant with the Board Sergeant Steven R. Gorski. Lowen contends and alleges that the Board of Commissioners along with its experienced attorney were wrong in finding that Lowen and his City's attorneys did not make their case and present the burden of proof that was needed to make the Chief's case for dismissal. Some even allege that this further legal action of asking for administrative review was taken to lessen the trauma to the Chief's ego and alleged sense of full power and control over his department. He allegedly wants to be surrounded by team players, could that be another name for "yes" men and Sergeant Gorski is a team player for the citizens of Woodstock and his fellow officers and has been for over nineteen (19) years but perhaps not allegedly enough of a "yes" man for the Chief.

Nowhere in the City's initial argument does it mention an in the line of duty injury on two occasions to his spine or his assisting a fellow officer with a question that allegedly "ticked off" the Chief .The in-line of duty injury caused the Sergeant to use his sick days and assisting a subordinate minority female officer may have been instrumental in causing the Chief and City some further legal problems with said minority officer when I was told she allegedly filed a federal complaint against the Chief and City. When he assisted said officer it was in his capacity as her sergeant after a lawful question was asked of him.

When is the City going to realize that continuing to go down this long wrong road is only making their position more tenuous and costly....using tax payer dollars to allegedly assuage some one's feelings is the wrong way of approaching this problem.

Reminders To Woodstock Illinois City Council Members



NEGLIGENT: The word "negligent".....imports a want of such attention to the nature of probable consequences of the act or omission as a reasonable prudent man bestows in acting in his own concern.

NUISANCE: Anything offensive or obnoxious to the health and welfare of the inhabitants of the City: or any act or thing repugnant to, or creating a hazard to, or having a detrimental effect on the property of another person or to the community.

PERSONAL PROPERTY: Includes every description of money, goods, chattels, effects, evidence of rights in action and all written instruments by which pecuniary obligation, right to title of property is created, acknowledged, transferred, increased, defeated, discharged or diminished and every right of interest therein.


Any person violating any provision of this Code, or any rule or regulation adopted or issued in pursuance thereof, or a provision of any code adopted herein by reference shall, unless another penalty is specifically provided, upon conviction, be fined in any sum not less than five dollar ($5.00) nor more that five hundred dollars ($500.00) or imprisoned for a term not exceeding six (6) months. Each act of violation and each day upon which a violation occurs constitutes a separate offence. (1963 Code, 1.09; amd. 1986 Code)


Each person concerned in the commission of an act prohibited by this Code, whether he directly commits the act, or prosecutes, counsels, aids or abets in its commission, may be prosecuted and, on conviction, is punishable as if he had directly committed such act. (1963 Code 1.08)

Freedom ....a Costly Item

Gus Philpott's article about PFC Dawid Pietrek brought back many painful but proud moments of the U.S. Marines and Navy Corpsmen and Nurses that I had the privilege and honor to take care of during the Viet Nam War. These wounded young men and Navy women nurses always were concerned about the guy or woman who may have been a buddy or friend of theirs. Some of their buddies and friends did not make it back alive. These people who I was serving had served far more than I could have ever done myself. They paid the price in lost limbs, eyes, ears and terrible scars and pain that they would carry for the rest of their lives. Sure they had their share of psychological troubles ...who wouldn't after going through all they did but they always were concerned about the other guy or gal who was going through the pain and suffering they were and that other individual did not have to be a fellow marine or sailor.

My second oldest son, Michael, now almost 40 years old had sustained very serious scalding water burns to both his feet and legs in an accident. When my wife and I would bring him to the hospital for his treatments you would think the President of the United States had arrived; they would talk to him, joke with him and do many acts of kindness to take his mind off of the sometimes painful treatments. My wife and I will never forget this. These men and women will always be Patriots not just because of their injuries and sacrifices but because of their kindness and concern about a little boy that they didn't even really know....maybe that's called love?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lets Play....Guess Who In Woodstock Illinois?

  1. May have allegedly been complicit in a Federal HIPPAA Law violation/s.

  2. May have allegedly initiated a legal process based on hearsay without due diligence and appropriate initial evaluation.

  3. May have allegedly violated due legal process/es.

  4. May have allegedly violated the "The Illinois Uniform Peace Officers' Disciplinary Act".

  5. May have allegedly disseminated private personal medical information.

  6. May have allegedly violated 1.7G5 paragraph A: Regulations For Sworn Officers of the City of Woodstock Municipal Code.

  7. May have allegedly violated other medical confidentiality law/s.

  8. May have allegedly been in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by Retaliation and Harassment.

  9. May have allegedly violated Title 18 of the United States Constitution, Section 241 Conspiracy Against Rights.

  10. May have allegedly violated Title 42 of the United States Constitution, Section 14141 Pattern and Practice, Discriminating Harassment.

  11. May have allegedly violated Title 56: Labor and Employment, Chapter 1: Department of Labor, Subchapter b: Regulation of Working Conditions Part 360 Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act Section 360.110, paragraph g.

12. May have allegedly violated the 4th and 14th Amendments of the U.S Constitution.

Guess what person or persons may have allegedly done this.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Woodstock & PD Takes Care Of Its Own...Joke

Within the Illinois Compiled Statutes there is a division called GENERAL PROVISIONS and within it is (5 ILCS 345/) Public Employee Disability Act, commonly known as "PEDA".

Sec. 1. Disability benefit.
(a) It lists among other things that an "eligible employee" is "any full-time law enforcement officer or full-time firefighter who is .............employed......., any unit of local government granted the power to employ persons for such purposes by law."

In my humble, non-lawyer brain this would include a city like Woodstock Illinois.

(b) "Whenever an eligible employee suffers any injury in the line of duty which causes him to be unable to perform his duties, he shall continue to be paid by the employing public entity on the same basis as he was paid before the injury..."

(c) "At any time during the period for which continuing compensation is required by this act, the employing public entity may order at the expense of that entity physical or medical examinations of the injured person to determine the degree of disability."

(d) "During this period of disability, the injured person shall not be employed in any other manner....."

Now lets look back at the situation of Sergeant Steven R. Gorski, an "eligible employee" of the Woodstock Police Department for (19) nineteen years.

1. Under Section 1 (a) he is an "eligible employee".
2. Under Section 1 (b) he sustained an in the line of duty injury that was reported, documented and approved after an investigation by a Deputy Chief of Police of the City of Woodstock. This injury has resulted in his inability for him to perform his duties as a Patrol Sergeant for the City of Woodstock Police Department.
3. Under Section 1 (c) never did the employing public entity (City) have a physical exam to determine the degree of disabililty of Sergeant Gorski.
4. Under Section 1 (d) at no time during this now current period of disability was or is the Sergeant employed in any other manner.

In conclusion, it seems to me that the City of Woodstock, its Mayor, City Council, City Administrator, Director of Human Resources and Chief of Police are alledgedly NOT in compliance with 5 ILCS 345/, The Public Employee Disabiltiy Act.

Now tonight when you go to sleep you can relax and have pleasant dreams knowing that your public officials are looking out for your best interests should something happen to you while you are working for the City of Woodstock. Pleasant dreams and yes don't forget to buy plenty of private disablity insurance so your family and you can survive.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Surprise! We are here to help.

About mid-afternoon there was a knock on the front door and I was saying to myself "who the heck could that be at this time?" Well low and behold it was my youngest son Phil, his wife Molly and their two sons Joe and Jim. I opened the door and said "hi! what up? and the spontaneous response from all four was "were here to help clean up the yard, cut grass and trim the trees and plants". Wow what a pleasant surprise...they decided to come on over and help just because they love us. This was totally spontaneous...we did not expect it. So my wife and I just realized that nice things do happen and sometimes when you least expect them. Thanks Phil, Molly, Joe and are not only family but kind and nice people.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Yesterday, Sunday, June 22nd we had a family get together at our home. The "we" consisted of my first and only wife of, going on 42 years, and me. The family consisted of four out of six adult children, their husbands and wives and their children (seven) and my daughter-in-law's mom and grand mom. Now that is leaving out two other adult children, their spouses and four other grand kids. We have been, so far, blessed with eleven grandchildren. We were celebrating a late Father's Day and two late birthdays and one birthday yet to come...we don't believe in wasting time, food or money. Actually its probably because we just don't want to have to clean the house four times...get all this partying over and just clean once and feed once. Getting old you sometimes get smarter.
During the course of the get together (organized family chaos-fun) I thought were did all the almost 65 years go since I was born....obviously I then realized that those 65 years were before my very investment in marriage, and something that you can't put into words but you feel in the very core of your being.
All the other things we, my wife and I did during the course of our lives were important but were ancillary to having a family, grand kids and hopefully great grand kids. That was my insight while I went to sleep totally exhausted that night. Pleasant dreams!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Intimidation by...Deep Taxpayers Pockets in Woodstock Ill.

When the process initiated by Chief of Police, Robert W. Lowen, Jr. of Woodstock Illinois began by him filing a formal complaint against Sergeant Gorski with the City of Woodstock's Fire and Police Commission seeking his termination from the force that he served in for over 19 years I must confess I was somewhat depressed and angry that a single relatively new individual backed by a City (at least allegedly a few persons in high level positions) could allegedly con volute and change the true circumstances of a situation to serve their own self serving and financial interests respectively. The Sergeant understood that his oath of office was to the U.S. Constitution, the State, the County of McHenry and intimately with the people of Woodstock Illinois; he understood that his sworn duty was to the citizens and not to be a "team player of the Chief" and not to do things that he felt may have not been in the best interest of the citizens or his fellow officers. I guess he was just not viewed as one of "the good ol boys" that would go along with someone elses personal agenda.

My faith in the intrinsic goodness of most people was restored on February 4, 2008 when, after months of the Chief's and City's unilateral prosecution of Sergeant Gorski they, the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, after several minutes of deliberation, found in favor of Sergeant Gorski after they were asked to consider a directed verdict (which means that Sergeant Gorski did not even present his side of the case or defend himself). They found in his favor 3 to 0 and ordered he be reinstated and all back pay with interest due him by State statute be paid immediately as possible. To date he and his family which includes three young daughters have not received a penny from the much for 19 years of loyalty to the people. I've learned one thing from this fiasco and that is one individual and his backers may take the wrong path and they cannot give up because they will loose face and might fracture delicate egos. What reinforces that direction they take is that it costs them nothing....they don't pay the do the taxpayer. You pay the tab to the lawyers who think they have nothing to loose and the other individuals involved. Eventually the tab will be paid and it is usually the taxpayer who winds up paying that also...all this for something that need never have occurred.

The Chief could not accept the fact that the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners found in Sergeant Gorski's favor and filed for an Administrative Review with the 22 Judicial Circuit Court...more taxpayer dollars being spent. And the Saga of Sergeant Gorski goes on and his family and children must suffer because someone cannot accept the decision of his superiors.

The question remains: why even bother to have and fund a Board of Fire of Police Commissioners if their decision can be disobeyed by one alleged individual with someones alleged political backing? I hope that the tax payers of Woodstock get angry and upset and look into this matter that is draining their pockets and inappropriately causing severe hardship on a hard working cop's family. Someone other than me has to realize that it may be them in the cross hairs next time.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thoughts...on Government

"The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them right away."
---Ronald Reagan

"The care of human life and happiness. . . is the first and only legitimate object of good government."
---Thomas Jefferson, "To the Republican Citizens of Washington County Maryland," March 31, 1809

"The functions of government must be readjusted from time to time to restrain the strong and protect the weak. That is the preservation of liberty itself."
---Herbert Hoover, September 17, 1935

"The government goes on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity."
---Winston Churchill, speech, November 12, 1936

"I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University."
William F. Buckley, Jr.

"If the government is big enough to give you everything you want, it is big enough to take away everything you have."
---Gerald Ford

"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."

"When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."
---Thomas Jefferson

"Reflect on the above."
Richard W. Gorski, M.D., McHenry County Advocate, June 17, 2008

Thoughts....on Justice

"The administration of justice is the firmest pillar of government."
---George Washington, letter, 1789

"The appearance of justice is just as important as justice itself in maintaining public confidence in our judicial system."
---William Cohen

"Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do."
---Luke 23:34

"He that covereth his transgressions shall not prosper. But whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy."
---Proverbs 28:13

"He who allows oppression shares the crime."
---Erasmus Darwin, The Botanic Garden, 1789

"If we are to keep our democracy there must be one commandment: Thou shalt not ration justice."
---Learned Hand

"In the state of nature, indeed, all men are born equal, but they cannot continue in this equality. Society makes them lose it, and they recover it only by the protection of the laws."
Baron de Montesquieu, The Spirit of Laws, 1748

"Justice has nothing to do with expediency."
---Woodrow Wilson

"Justice is truth in action."
Benjamin Disraeli, speech, February 11, 1851

"Justice, sir, is the greatest interest of man on earth."
---Daniel Webster, September 12, 1845

"Justice. . . 'this great cement of society."
---Alexander Hamilton

"You should never have your best trousers on when you go out to fight for freedom and truth."
---Henrik Ibsen, An Enemy of the People, 1882

"Reflect on the above."
---Richard W. Gorski, M.D., McHenry County Advocate, June 17, 2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Concealed Carry & Less Gun Control = Less Crime

In 2006 the FBI documented that in 2006 this country's total violent crime rate was 37.5 % lower than is 1991 when violent crime peaked. The two most violet forms of violent crime involving a firearm were murder and robery.

Long term trends according to the FBI reveal that violet crime remains relatively low in States where the number of guns, gun owners and Right - To - Carry Laws have risen and gun control has been reduced significantly. The FBI essentially said that crime levels have little or nothing to do with increased gun control. In 2006 the States with Right-To-Carry had lower violent crime rates, on average, compared to the rest of the country.

What is needed is criminal control, not gun control according to the facts. If a criminal knows his or her chance of being killed or wounded in committing a violent crime they will think a few times before doing the dirty might be their last. Now that is using a gun to control crime.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Woodstock Illinois Sergeants....join Union?

When I first came to Woodstock in 1975 and opened my medical office on Blakely Street behind the old hospital and next to the high school the concept of joining a labor union was a very foreign idea to most of the people who worked in Woodstock, especially its police officers who worked the streets day and night. Over the years I have seen a change in their attitudes and now the patrol officers belong to a union. Most of the time employees join a union because they can't work out a reasonable working relationship with their boss, the police chief, or with their employer, the City of Woodstock. What I see now is a group of Sergeants that in the recent past would never have thought about joining a union but now they are rolling the idea about in their minds and wondering if it might be the right time to consider it for one's own self protection and job security. I don't know which way it will go but I do know this; the City better start to think about the issue and how to improved its relationship with them. Once you loose their trust it takes a long time to gain it back and they are the City's front-line ambassadors to the citizens of Woodstock, the County and the Country. It would behove you to pay serious consideration to their concerns.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Chief Robert W. Lowen v. Board of Fire & Police Commissioners & Sgt. Gorski

Following the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners decision (on Jan. 4, 2008) to hear the Motion for a Directed Verdict asked for by the Sgt's attorney and then deciding in Sgt. Gorski's favor unanimously, 3 to 0, the Chief of Police, as Plaintiff, filed for an Administrative Review with the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court in Woodstock. The paper work was as one would expect prepared by the City's taxpayer paid attorneys.

The rationality behind such a Motion seems totally irrational to me unless they want to just delay the inevitable. The only other reason for pursuing such a course of action could be a "turf battle" between the office of the Mayor, the City Council, the office of the City Manager, the office of the Director of Human Resources and the City's own Board of Fire and Police Commissioners and to continue to financially and emotionally squeeze dry Sergeant Gorski.

So what we have now is the Chief of Police Robert W. Lowen with the assistance of taxpayer paid attorneys summoning the entire Board of Fire and Police Commissioners and Sgt. Gorski to the hearing before Judge McIntyre of the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court in Woodstock. I wonder who along the chain of the City's government gave the Police Chief permission to pursue this frivolous and costly course. Maybe, but I doubt it, we will someday find out. I am sure they will invoke the decision to invoke the "executive session" get out of jail free card to protect that identity or identities.

1.7G.3: FUNCTIONS OF CHIEF OF POLICE: states in part the

"The Chief of Police shall have the following duties:

A. The Chief of Police shall be the chief executive officer of the Police Department of the City. He shall seek the enforcement of all laws of the State and the City, as well as the enforcement of all orders, rules and regulations of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners....

B. The Chief of Police shall be in charge of and exercise control over all sworn officers and civilian employee of the Police Department, subject to the authority of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners and the City Manager.

So we have a situation here where the Chief of Police did not follow the orders of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. I don't believe that he would pursue such a reckless action unless someone up-line in City Government advised him to do so. I just hope the the Chief has this up-line order "in writing" to protect his actions in this regard.

In conclusion we have the City v. the City involved in a frivolous cause and using hard earned taxpayer dollars to sooth their egos or whatever is going on. What's your guess?

Checks, Balances & Transparency of Government

The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution reads in part,

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; or deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

As a people, when we accept the legitimacy of government, the next question we should ask ourselves is: Why not give government officials, its agents (Police Chiefs, City Attorneys, Mayors to name a few) all the power they need to fullfill their missions? John Locke and Thomas Jefferson provided us with the answer to this question over 200 years ago. Their contention was that when government officials are given unlimited power, they inevitably misuse the power, oftentimes becoming worse than the murderers, rapists, thieves and burglars they were charged with protecting the people from.

The Fathers of our country solved this problem by bringing our government into existence by using a Constitution to specify and limit the government's powers. It is important to always keep in mind that, government is necessary, but also to realize that it can be the primary threat to the freedom and liberties of its citizens. Remember the saying "power corrupts and absolute power absolutely corrupts". That is why we have the Bill of Rights and ultimately the Fourteenth Amendment. Thanks to the Woodstock City Government we also have the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners to further guarantee this right.

Woodstock Municipal Code (2.12.1: BOARD ESTABLISHED) states that "There is hereby created a Board of Fire and Police Commissioners in the City, whose members shall be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the City Council....". (1986 Code)

Woodstock Municipal Code (2.12.4: POWERS AND DUTIES) states that "The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners shall have the following powers and duties pertaining to sworn members of the Police Department: (emphasis added)

A. To make and promulgate rules and regulations for the conduct of examinations for original appointments, conduct of examinations for promotions, and conduct of hearings on charges brought against the member of the Police Department. (1986 Code) (emphasis added)

B. To make all original appointments to the Police Department and appointments to promotion within the Police Department pursuant to examinations.

C. To conduct examinations for original appointments and promotions.

D. To conduct hearings on charges brought against any member of the Police Department. (emphasis added)

E. Such other and further powers as may from time to time be authorized by the General Assembly. (1986 Code)"

2.12.2: MEMBERSHIP AND TERMS: states in part that

"A. The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners shall consist of three (3) members, whose terms of office shall be three (3) years............

B. Members of the Board must be residents of the City and shall be considered officers of the City and shall file an oath and fidelity bond....." (emphasis added)

So as far as I and I hope you can see the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners is an important link in the line of checks and balances emanating from the U.S. Constitution to the level of the Woodstock Police Department through the Government of the City of Woodstock.

Monday, June 9, 2008

What's An Administrative Review?

Courts are asked to do administrative reviews for one or two reasons generally: to contest a property tax decision of a Property Tax Appeal Board or as in this case involving the Police Chief Robert W. Lowen Jr. to question the judgement of the City's own Board of Fire and Police Commissioners and their see if that decision of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners is contrary to law. Now you have to understand that the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners had legal council present throughout the entire process, very competent legal council. They were not allowed to wander in the legal wilderness that persons (non-attorneys) find ourselves in at times. They are also according to the municipal code of the City of Woodstock considered officers of the City and have to take an oath and post a bond. They have official and legal status.

What sense does this make: the Chief of Police Robert W. Lowen Jr. files a Motion for Administrative review of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners hearings which were entirely initiated and caused by the Chief's Complaint and then entirely prosecuted by the City's attorney with tax payer money. The entire process was in retrospect a unilateral process which recorded all the concerns of the Chief and these were expressed by the City's Attorney Ann Brophy. I hope that she did due diligence, research and investigated the Chief's accusations and found substantive cause in making his accusations other than taking him at his word before proceeding with this case; if she did not that could be a costly mistake in more ways than just financially but career wise also. The Chief along with his council is asking the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court, which in this case is acting as an Appellate Court to go over the substance of their own actions. To me it makes no sense except to draw things out from January when the Board found in the Sergeant's favor to July 17th...six and one half months down the line...without pay.

What tactic will they use next to drag things out even longer?

I pray that on July 17th the judge finds in favor of all four defendants, the three Board of Fire and Police Commissioners and Sergeant Gorski. I also wonder what action the elected officials of the City of Woodstock will take to address this wrong? There should be consequences for people in positions of authority who allegedly abuse their office.

Woodstock City Council: Do the "Right Thing"!

On Tuesday, June 17, 2008 the Woodstock City Council will meet at 7 PM in City Hall. I hope all people interested in the actions and decisions of elected and appointed leaders are there to view the proceedings.

I will be there and some of my acquaintances will also be there. I am certain that they will not even mention the fact that the Chief of Police, Robert W. Lowen Jr. has filed a Motion to Review (a public record on file at the court house) the hearings that he initiated when he filed a complaint with the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners ( who are considered officers of the City of Woodstock and his superiors) against Sgt. Steven R. Gorski, a veteran of the force for the last 19 years, seeking his dismissal from the police force. After months of hearings, testimony by the Chief and the City's supposed evidence being presented they rested their prosecution against Sgt. Gorski sometime before Christmas. Sgt. Gorski through his attorney at that time presented no defence against the complaint filed by the Chief of Police and prosecuted by Ann Brophy a member of a prestigious law firm in Crystal Lake Illinois. The Sergeant's attorney Tom Loizzo respectfully asked the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners to consider a Motion for a Directed Verdict and if they did so accept said motion to act on only the case and evidence presented entirely by the Chief of Police and his attorneys.

On, if I recall accurately, January 4, 2008 the Board accepted the Motion for a Directed Verdict and deliberated for several minutes the evidence and case presented entirely by the Chief and City over the last few months and came to a 3 to 0 finding in favor of Sergeant Gorski. This is when the Chief of Police decided not to accept the decision of his superiors (see City of Woodstock Municipal Code) on the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners and filed a Motion for Review with the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court naming the members of the City's Board of Fire and Police Commissioners along with Sergeant Gorski as defendants and himself as Plaintiff. It is true the Board of Fire and Police Commissioner cannot hire or fire the Chief of Police but he has a duty under the City Code to enforce their rules and orders. They can however recommend to the City Manager, Mayor and City Council his dismissal should they deem it in the best interests of the City or if he is found to have violated the Municipal Codes of the City which he took an oath to protect.

The decision on this Motion will be on July 17, 2008 before Judge MacIntyre of the 22nd Judicial Circuit. I am sure that none of the above will be discussed in the open meeting of the City Council Meeting under the pretence that it is a "personnel issue" and will be handled in "executive session".

How convenient it is to have "executive session" when you don't want the public to know something and yet when the Chief and his attorney read the Complaint of the Chief it was in "open session" of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. When the Chief and the City's attorney wanted to get "their message" out to the public there was no concern of the matter being a "personnel issue" and it was announced to the whole world via the local press and Internet....very convenient for them don't you think. I hope the Mayor and City Council Members being honorable individuals look into this very troubling situation. Somebody is using a lot of Woodstock taxpayers money to contest their own Board and Process....strange....very strange. City Council...please do the right thing.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Gus Philpott: Man of Insight

Over the years I have read what Gus Philpott has written and sometimes I have agreed with his viewpoints and sometimes not. I don't recall ever meeting him in person, if I did and forgot please accept my apology Mr. Philpott. I will say this about him: he appears to be fair and balanced and tends to stick to the facts and does not appear to have a personal agenda that he pushes.

On Wednesday, June 4, 2008 Gus Philpott on his blog wrote about "The Saga of Sgt. Gorski". This caught my attention because Sgt. Gorski, is known to me as Steve, my oldest son. Mr. Philpott pretty much got the story (Saga) 100% correct. Read it and you will understand what the Chief of Police Robert W. Lowen Jr. and the hired city attorney, Ann Brophy has put the Sergeant through for over a year now.

I believe the Chief allegedly launched a series of events, perhaps with the consent of authorities above his pay grade to get rid of a senior patrol sergeant with a work related spinal injury because the Sergeant believed he worked for the people of Woodstock and did not want to be a "team player" of the Chief. So lets get rid of a higher paid officer and a possible workman's compensation problem and a non-chief-team player in one felt swoop; lets get him fired under unproven accusations by the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. Unfortunately for the Chief and the city attorney the Board saw through this charade and found in favor of Sgt. Gorski 3 to 0. The story however continues because the Chief can't accept the decision of his superiors on the Board and did not follow their orders and wants this to continue for another 6 months to weaken the spirit and financial ability of the Sgt. to continue the legal battle with the city with deep tax payer dollars funding the entire fiasco.

I believe the Board did the correct thing and did not rubber stamp what the Police Chief wanted and so the Saga of Sgt. Gorski continues until someone with guts and legal authority over him says to him....STOP and even maybe goodbye! Maybe it will be a judge or a mayor or a city manager who takes the action...someone needs to act.