BGA on Madigan’s Public Access

I was interviewed for this story WEEKS ago, glad to see this is STATE problem.  The story is published on the Better Government Association website:

Illinois FOIA Appeals Linger With No End In Sight

Lengthy appeals process, non-binding decisions hamper ability to obtain records through Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

After Edgar County corrections officers were convicted in 2012 of having sex with inmates, two residents of the Downstate County set out to use the state’s open records law to look for more wrongdoing in the sheriff’s office.

Four years later, Kirk Allen and John Kraft are still waiting to obtain public records—audio recordings of jailhouse interviews—they believe could shed more light on their suspicions. The delay continues despite a ruling from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan that Allen and Kraft deserved access to the recordings.

Their frustrations are a vivid example of what some critics call a broken system in which delays by government bodies and a slow-moving appeals process keeps public records out of the hands of citizens entitled to have them under the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

As the experience of Allen and Kraft vividly illustrates, the backlog of unresolved FOIA appeals can sometimes stretch on for years.

“A delay is the same as a denial,” said Allen, a co-founder of the Edgar County Watchdogs which sees as its mission the investigation of waste and impropriety inside local governments in Illinois.

Continue Reading for my comments:





2 thoughts on “BGA on Madigan’s Public Access

  1. After Judge Foley’s decision, would your comment below change?

    “The judges here have been just great to me. They’ve taken into account I don’t know what I’m doing,” Benjamin said.


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