by: Diane Benjamin
In July of 2012, I filed an Open Meetings Act violation against the Bloomington City Council concerning a road trip 4 Council members and Mayor Stockton took to Peoria. The Pantagraph and 2 other citizens filed the same thing I did. The Public Access Office that handles these complaints is overwhelmed with complaints from across the state, after all this is Illinois. That’s why it took so long to get a ruling. I have other complaints still pending.
The Open Meetings Act is meant to protect citizens by making it illegal for a majority of elected government officials to meet and discuss policy where citizens are not allowed to view or participate in the discussions. In other words, they aren’t allowed to meet in secret except for a few rare items, like personnel reviews, union contracts, land sales, and a few others.
We all filed against the City based on evidence in an email written by Alderman Rob Fazzini after the road trip. Here is a link to his entire email: Fazzini Email
The State’s Attorney Generals office contacted the City of Bloomington for a response to the complaint. Here is part of what they sent to the AG:
“Did not accurately describe the gathering”! So, basically the City is calling Fazzini a liar.
The question really is:
Is Fazzini a liar? Or did Stockton, Fruin, Purcell, and Mwilambe lie to keep the City out of trouble with the Attorney General? Obviously somebody “mis-spoke”.
Since the State’s Attorney’s office could not verify the claims in Fazzini’s email that did violate the Open Meetings Act, they have closed the case. Here is page 6 of the letter from the Attorney General, if pretty much sums up the above. It is crooked because the copy sent to me is crooked!
We will have to decide for yourselves where the truth lies. Keep in mind that all involved are Illinois politicians.
Or, maybe a lawsuit and testifying under oath would help clarify their memories.