By: Diane Benjamin
The Public Access division of the Attorney General’s office was designed to hold government accountable and give citizens a voice.
As with Judy Stearns’ case against the City for violating the Open Meetings Act, justice can take years of mostly no action.
I lost count of how many Request for Reviews have been filed pertaining to the Liquor Commission, so I did a FOIA request for the ones outstanding. I just received the list:
I believe that others could be filed. If the Attorney General decides to take a long time to rule, I’m sure more will be filed.
The way this works is a citizens files a Request for Review. If Public Access thinks it merits further investigation, they send a letter to the government entity for an explanation or response. Then the citizen can respond back. All this is supposed to happen quickly. The AG then gathers all the info and issues a ruling.
I know the City failed to answer 2016 PAC 42872. The AG sent a second request. I believe last Monday Tari was going to declare himself commissioner and then tell the AG the problem is fixed. The City held off responding because they thought they had an out. It didn’t work out that way.
I also requested the numbers of any other Request for Reviews waiting for a ruling. There are TWENTY NINE outstanding:
Note: Two are 5 years old!
Justice isn’t slow – it’s nonexistent.
Or. maybe Illinois is so corrupt there isn’t enough staff to handle the complaints.
Or, maybe Lisa Madigan doesn’t want to.
NONE of these were filed by me.
(included the Liquor Commission Requests)
If you filed any of these, the only way to get action is to bug them. If you don’t, people who do bug them take priority.
A lot of problems could be avoided if:
- Every serving official took the Open Meetings Act Training and the FOIA Law training
- Every serving official followed both laws
Both are available here: http://foia.ilattorneygeneral.net/
People who act like they have something to hide usually do.
Edgar County Watchdogs will be here in September for a training class. Ben Yount finally caved! Thanks for the emails to him.
I haven’t heard a date, time, and place yet.
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