Stanford: Where’s your money?

By:  Diane Benjamin

First, why is the Freedom of Information officer for Stanford a lawyer?  How much is it costing taxpayers to get information through a lawyer that you are entitled to under the law?  Is the FOIA officer a lawyer to hide information?

Stanford residents have been paying an extra $5 per month tacked on to their water bills for a potential sewage treatment plants.  I wanted to know how much money has been collected and where it is.  I send this FOIA request to the Town:

I am requesting the following information under the Freedom of Information Act:
Total received to date by the $5.00 per month charge on water bills for a future sewer plant
Bank account and fund balance verifying the money collected is not being spent on other items.

Patrick McGrath, the lawyer, has refused to give me the information.  He thinks I should name the exact documents I want, of course that would mean going to Stanford and looking at their books and finding the information myself.  Pat, how am I suppose to know what documents to ask for?  Bank account wasn’t clear?  A fund balance line item wasn’t clear?

Stanford, your FOIA officer is violating the spirit of the law to hide information. 

Where is your $5 a month?  Has Stanford spent it?  Do you really think a tiny town collecting $5 per month on water bills is ever going to receive enough for a sewage treatment plant?

This guy is also the lawyer for the Allin Township Fire Protection District.  Other information I have requested is also being denied.

Citizens have a right to know where their money is.  Below is his contact information.  Citizens need to start demanding answers!  Let me know what you find out.  Corruption is easy when citizens don’t ask questions, especially in small towns.  Think Dixon Illinois.



19 thoughts on “Stanford: Where’s your money?

  1. Wow. They are denying based on how you requested it. Because you said “information” and not “electronic” or “paper” copy format. Which isn’t a valid legal reason. It’s like denying a request based on a typo. Where did he get his law degree? A box of cereal? The guidance says you should be as specific as possible but it not grounds for denial. This lawyer just broke the law.


  2. He’s also the lawyer for The Village of Carlock. He’s denied several of my FOIA requests because of wording. I finally just gave up.

    He attends every Village meeting so if you need to see him….the fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 pm at the local Library.


  3. Figures some liars, er meant lawyers would twist this law around and make it difficult to get a FOIA request answered. Perhaps a legal adept friend will step in and aid you in the wording. Total xxxxs if you ask me but I have a better name for them.

    Now it makes me think they have something to hide. I suspect these government offices are playing hardball to get around having to answer to FOIA requests.


  4. It costs on average $700 for an entity like a village to get your precious FOIA. How about some of you whiners cough up that money. Stanford is a small village without a lot of money so every time some wanker with a case of butt hurt wants one, it cost money. Dumb asses.


    1. Why is your FOIA officer a lawyer? Documents belong to the public and since your lawyer is choosing to hide them (maybe for the money he will earn) it’s your fault!

      What are you hiding?


  5. I’m hiding nothing. It has nothing to do with me. What it is though is conspiracy theorists who have nothing better to do than cost the taxpayers real money for nothing.


  6. Why does it bother you that a lawyer is a FOIA officer? Is it because they know exactly how to handle frivolity like this and you don’t get your way so you cry and post it on a website that is controlled by you?


  7. On the Village of Stanford website, the FOIA officer is listed as Megan L Phillips. Oh is Jimmy B none other than village Trustee Jim Bridgewater? Mr. McGrath isn’t even the FOIA officer. Hmmm, a response from a lawyer instead of the actual FOIA. If Jimmy B is a member of the board, then he is being incredibly careless to post in type on this issue. Guess he didn’t follow the Renner tirade.


  8. Thank you I appreciate that. But the thanks goes to you and other citizens who look out for the citizens. No matter what your political beliefs, we can’t allow the Government to be corrupt.


    1. Seriously Jimmy! Why so secretive about where this piddling $5 has gone? Just give up the info and all will be appeased. I’m sure the citizens would like to know how their money is being spent AND if it’s being banked in an interest bearing account. It’s good foresight only if this is how the extra cash is being used. It’s fraud if it has been diverted. Depending upon how many households comprise your population of 599, you could be banking $3,000.00 per month!


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