Atlanta Library: Return the Grant!

By:  Diane Benjamin

The dominoes are now starting to fall in Atlanta Il.

On October 23rd the Illinois  Secretary of State’s State Library General Counsel issued a letter to the Atlanta Public Library District which included an intent to recover grant funds under the Illinois Grant Funds Recovery Act (“IGFRA”), 30 ILCS 705.

The demand letter cites the Public Officers Prohibited Activities Act (here) as the reason for their determination that a violation of the grant assurances occurred. The Grant required strict adherence to all Illinois laws. Read Sections 3, 3.1, 4, and 4.5 of this Act to see the prohibitions, requirements, and punishments for violations.

According to the Sec of State, Bill Thomas, as a Trustee of the Library, had a prohibited financial interest in the contract or performance of work on which he may be required to act or vote. Due to this prohibited interest, the grant was void from the beginning and must be returned to the State Library.

The grant was a $25,000 grant thru the “Live and Learn Grant” program managed by the State Library.

Read more and see a copy of the letter here:

Investigations of the Atlanta Public Library are just getting started.  Stay tuned.








  1. Laura Gresham says:

    I wonder if this is included in the bills they approved to pay through the end of the year at the last meeting. Sounds like they are finally getting caught up with. Thanks for the story Diane.


  2. Laura Gresham says:

    Great. Looking forward to the next chapter in this ongoing saga!



  1. […] Actually, this is about the Atlanta Public Library.  I received a FOIA request for the appraisal of the Union Hall building.  This is the building supposedly sold to the library back in 2014.  No payments were ever made, it was written only to qualify for a grant the State now wants repaid – $25,000! […]


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