August 4, 2013 · 5 Comments
EDGAR CO. (ECWd) –
We recently submitted a FOIA request to the Clark-Edgar Rural Water District (CERWD) for 1099s on a particular individual that was receving “free” water for himself and his family…forever… – this was part of an agreement made when placing a pump station on his property.
The CERWD denied the records stating they were exempt for income tax related exemptions.
We then filed a request for review with the Illinois Attorney General’s office of the Public Access Counselor. They sent a letter of further inquiry, and one of the CERWD attorneys replied, and included the documents requested, stating that they no longer believed they were exempted records.
This is another fine example of using an attorney, just because you can, in an effort to withhold public records from the public. The CERWD could have saved a couple hundred dollars of YOUR money had they simply provided the documents when requested – but I’m sure they will add that to the line item for “FOIA costs” so it appears we are racking up costs by presenting a simple FOIA request. The fact still remains, there is really no need to have an attorney process FOIA requests.
I will have to give the CERWD credit for full compliance once they found out they were wrong, something other local public bodies still have a problem doing…
AG’s futher inquiry letter: