Shaw Suing McHenry County Blogger

During the whole water authority referendum hoo-ha I visited the McHenry County Blog a few times for its coverage of the issue. Now the publisher, Cal Skinner, is being sued by the same people who own DeKalb’s Daily Chronicle. According to the Northwest Herald:

The civil lawsuit challenges Cal Skinner Jr.’s June 3 post on his political blog alleging that the [Herald] received a multimillion dollar-loan from McHenry County government at submarket rates to prevent it from moving outside the county. It also challenges a comment that the loan was made “to put the paper in the back pocket of the Republican Party.”

Skinner is now countersuing, and as of this writing has not removed or updated the targeted post.

You can find great analysis of the complaint and the countersuit at The Capitol Fax, including a .pdf copy of the counter-complaint provided by First Electric Newspaper.

I have to admit prejudice, not as a blogger exactly but as a goo-goo gal. When a plaintiff says it “…has never been the recipient of any loan, from any public body, at market or sub-market rates,” one does not expect to read something like this:

Skinner’s reply Monday included a copy of a 1985 county board resolution authorizing a $2.6 million Economic Development Revenue Bond paying 80 percent of the then-prime rate, the proceeds to be loaned to Shawmor Limited Partnership to build a newspaper plant where the Northwest Herald now stands. The resolution states its purpose as “increasing and retaining employment within (McHenry County’s) boundaries.”

Also included is a 1985 IRS form signed by then-County Board Chairman Edward J. Buss listing principal users of the bond money as Shawmor, Shaw Free Press Media and B.F. Shaw Printing, all with the same Dixon address.

Tsk.

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Bonus pic: Algonquin’s new Community Development Director here, also from First Electric Newspaper.