Taxpayers Try To Stop Lisa Madigan's "Highway Robbery"

CHICAGO–Plaintiffs against the Ill. State Toll Highway Authority filed an amended complaint today in Cook County Circuit Court. Plaintiffs consist of James L. Tobin, Christina Marie Tobin, Kenneth Malo, John Guild, Rae Ann McNeilly, Paul Cassidy, Glenn Westphal and Carol Westphal.

Plaintiffs are seeking a Declaratory Judgment, injunctive relief, and redress for the violation of their civil rights by the defendants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1983, et seq. The Authority raised cash tolls by approximately 90% as of January 1.

Representing the Authority is the office of Ill. Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan (D), daughter of Chicago machine boss and Ill. House Speaker Michael J. Madigan (D).

“What Lisa Madigan is getting away with is nothing less than highway robbery,” said plaintiff James Tobin.

The amended complaint included the following points:

  • The Commission was created by an act of the Illinois General Assembly as an instrumentality and administrative agency of the State of Illinois in 1953. On October 25, 1955, the Tollway Commission adopted a resolution authorizing a single series of bonds aggregating $415,000,000 to finance the construction of what it described as “The Northern Illinois Toll Highway,” which was to consist of three separate routes.
  • In its first full year of operation the annual toll revenues collected amounted to $14,536,000. Since 2000, the Tollway has collected nearly $9 Billion ($8,621,360,000) in toll revenues from the users of its toll highways. The majority of that amount was collected from the three routes where the revenue bonds were already paid.
  • The Tollway has indicated it now has some 13 series of outstanding bonds, with an aggregate total of over $4 Billion ($4,066,675,000) and with at least one series of those bonds not maturing until January 1, 2034.  It continues to issue bonds without giving due consideration to the intent of the legislature that the Tollway should dissolve when the original bonds were repaid.

“Rather than paying off the tollway bonds and disbanding, the overpaid administrators keep issuing new bonds, so that the bonds of the authority never get paid off as the Ill. Legislature intended,” said Tobin. “This way the bureaucrats, tollway employees and politically-connected contractors rake in the dough year after year.”

Click here to view the 1st amended complaint

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