The Oak Lawn Village Manager sends emails to the village trustees, the mayor or the general public that contain an attachment. The attachment, like for many businesses, contains information about the sender and the organization. In this case, it looks something like the image on this page.
Deetjen claimed that he has received compliments on the attachment but it was apparently a big problem for one Village Trustee, who most recently served as Mayor Sandra Bury’s Chief Advisor, and has been in operational control of the village for 12 years.
According to official village emails, released by Oakileaks, a Facebook News Page, Phelan made it a point to complain to both Deetjen and the Village’s IT Director, Tom Swaw, about the attachment and the aggravation he would feel whenever he would click on the attachment, which he referred to as the paper clip in the email.
The email chain starts on the bottom of this first image with Phelan complaining in a manner that would make some think he couldn’t be serious about such a trivial issue. However, Phelan notes that it is about the eighth time that he had complained about the same subject in just two and a half years and each time he claims he was told that the issue was being fixed.
Phelan explains in the email that when “Jim Fox replies to Larry’s email and his reply also appears to have an attachment (image). I open it and to my utter disgust it is Larry’s business card.”
Sounding like a spoiled child, Phelan writes further in disgust, “It is apparent to me that you guys clearly have no appreciation of how aggravating this is…”
Deetjen, who is charged with managing the village government, responds to the email noting that Phelan is the only person that has ever complained about the image appearing as an attachment. Deetjen, in his response, notes that he authors many emails and only Phelan was complaining about this issue. Deetjen also noted he gets compliments on the image.
That response, which included the fact that the IT Director was in Deetjen’s office trying to accommodate the request, was answered by Phelan with a touch of sarcasm and a note that he was complaining because he was inconvenienced when he clicked on the attachment:
Jeez, I didn’t realize you were getting compliments. I certainly want that to continue and will agree to continue to be inconvenienced, so long as you make sure every email you send me or cc me on has a statement about whether or not the attachment is an actual attachment or whether it is just your business card. Then maybe you’ll better appreciate my frustration and the amount of time I have to waste bc I can’t open the attachment on my bb…
While all the parties may have been better off ending the conversation at that point, it continued. The second set of emails, sent later in the day, seems to show Deetjen and Swaw trying to placate Phelan and asking if the solutions were satisfactory while making it clear that they didn’t intend to “aggravate” him.
Part of the email also has Phelan revealing his lack of knowledge about technology when he refers to an attachment as showing “the envelope w/paper-clip”.
Previously, Oakileaks has released village emails that show Phelan, who has been in a position of power for 12 years, exerting pressure on other employees like the Human Resources Director, to take action and reveal information from personnel files, without board approval.