It’s now a Class 4 felony to hide public records in Illinois
It’s not all bad news in Illinois. Sometimes our politicians get it right.
Illinois lawmakers have made it a Class 4 felony to intentionally hide public records from the public.
House Bill 4216, introduced by state Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, was passed unanimously by both the Illinois House and Senate. It was signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn on Aug. 26.
The bill provides that, “Any person who knowingly, without lawful authority and with the intent to defraud any party, public officer, or entity, alters, destroys, defaces, removes, or conceals any public record commits a Class 4 felony.”
The penalties for a Class 4 felony in Illinois can include between one and three years in prison with the possibility of additional fines.
This law should be of special concern to public officials who are in charge of producing and maintaining public records. Clerks, recorders, finance workers, comptrollers and Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA officers are some of the primary caretakers of public records and public records requests.
City employees: 1-3 years in jail! Are you going to follow the law or do what you are told and risk jail?