By: Diane Benjamin
A few weeks ago I wrote about an Open Meeting Act violation Lisa Madigan’s Public Access office was asked to review. It was filed in 2014 against the Bloomington Election Commission and evidently lost because no ruling was made until I asked for the resolution. First they claimed the number I provided couldn’t be found, then when I sent them a copy of their initial letter it was magically located. See the story HERE
If the AG had ruled in 2014, the recent fiascos for petition challenges might not have happened. Surprisingly all the employees involved had taken the OMA training in early 2015, but by law they aren’t required to repeat the training. They should need to brush up every once in a while, but then this is Illinois.
I decided to give the AG one more chance to get this right. I filed a multi-count Request for Review on December 15th. The first was for the initial meeting that ended with the police being called, the second was for the illegal executive session they called to determine how to proceed, the third was for a later meeting where Public Comment rules were approved without ever appearing on the agenda. I also asked for the Pubic Comment rules to be reviewed since they included a clause stating what topics could be included.
I included video of the first two violations and documentation for the other two. Violating the Open Meetings Act is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1000 fine. When the AG finally ruled on the 2014 case it was nothing more than “don’t do that again”, of course when the ruling is years later it’s difficult to hold anybody accountable.
Today I was copied on a letter sent to the Election Commission from the AG’s office asking them to comment on my allegations. They have seven days to respond, and then I can further comment if necessary. See the letter HERE
By law the Attorney General has 60 days to rule with a possible 30 day extension. Since laws don’t matter, this issue should be resolved in 2-3 years. Stay tuned.