By: Diane Benjamin
One thing I’ve learned is Republicans never do what they say they will do in a campaign while Democrats lie over and over and over trying to get you to believe what they say. Just watch them for a while, you will notice it too. (Think: If you like your doctor . . . )
Tari Renner did just that with his claims of transparency. The City of Bloomington doesn’t have any transparency. Documents are still missing from the website, even though I filed a FOIA request for many of them in March.
Example of missing Agenda from 10/24/2016: http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=11530
Reason for this story:
The City posts a list of all FOIA request made and who submitted them. A reader noticed the Pantagraph had submitted this request:
Requested by: Edith Brady-Lunny, Pantagraph
1. E-mails sent and received by Mayor Tari Renner, City Manager David Hales and current members of the Bloomington City Council from Jan. 1, 2017 and March 6, 2017 on privately owned devices of these city officials, pursuant to Section 7 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act;
2. all City of Bloomington policies which prohibit the transaction of public business on private devices or through private e-mail accounts.
Since this FOIA requests sounds really interesting, Kevin Gerrard submitted a request for what the Pantagraph received:
On Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 11:30 AM, Kevin Gerrard <redacted> wrote:
Pursuant to Section 7 (a) of the Freedom of information Act, I request an electronic copy of the identical records you sent to Ms Lunny of the Pantagraph which she requested in her FOIA Request 17-03-0229 . Given the fact your response was already compiled, vetted, and sent to the requestor, I trust there will be no delay or additional redactions or vetting and that your response will be timely.
Kevin S. Gerrard
Kevin received this response
On Apr 3, 2017, at 4:46 PM, Andrew Coffey <email@example.com> wrote:
Hello,No documents were gathered, provide in whole, or in part to the requester of FOIA 17-03-0229 because the City’s email system does not have the ability to track if an email was sent or received on a privately owned device. Their request was denied in full as detailed in the response form dated March 14, 2017. You received the same response form that was emailed to the requester.
Support Staff IV
City Clerk’s Office
Illegal response Andrew Coffey!
Government employees can not use personal email addresses to usurp Freedom of Information requests.
Illinois AG Rules That Public Employees’ Personal Emails Are Public Records