June 13, 2016 · 4 Comments
DuPage Co. (ECWd) –
Have we come to a point in this country where actual educators of our children don’t understand our Constitution and the Bill of Rights? Diane McGuire appears to be one of those educators, as she claims to have been a teacher. Now, as a Trustee for the College of DuPage, we find she fails to understand the most important right we as citizens have, our right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
A recent FOIA response has once again shown us the true colors of Diane McGuire and rest assured they are not Red, White, and Blue. They are more along the lines of Red and Gold, as in hammer and sickle. Fortunately, former attorney Res Vasquez provided her a legal opinion, but even with that, he failed to point to the very foundation as to why Diane McGuire can not restrict the people’s attack on her during public meetings.
The subject of the email stated: “Public Bodies cannot ban public comment criticism at public meetings”
Anyone who had a teacher worth a hoot should have been taught our First Amendment rights, however, the fact we have Diane McGuire, a senior citizen that you would think lived through the importance of that right, appears to not understand our most basic civil right. She has now sought out legal advice from the very attorney who assisted her and other board members in violating the law by voting in closed session.
Vasquez advised McGuire, May 18, 2016, of the following:
The Illinois Open Meetings Act requires the public body to provide some opportunity for public
comment. 5 ILCS 120/2.06(g). The Attorney General says that means every meeting of a public body
must include a public comment period. A public body can adopt policies for the public comment
period, including imposing time limits on speakers and establishing and enforcing measures to deal
with disruptive members of the public. A public body cannot, however, adopt or apply a rule that
prohibits criticism of public employees, according to a federal district court ruling in Mnyofu v. Bd of
Education of Rich Township H.S. Dist. (N.E. Dist., April 5, 2016).
McGuire had previously complained to the Higher Learning Commission that current board counsel did not stop comments from the Edgar County Watchdogs directed at her during public comment. Clearly she did not like the legal opinion she was given as she is still seeking an attorney to tell her what she wants to hear instead of what the law is. We doubt even Kory Atkinson would tell her you can restrict the content of a person’s comments at a public meeting.
We can only wonder why the advice she did get failed to point to the Constitution.
1st Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Once again, Ms. McGuire, you cannot ban public comment criticism at public meetings! The fact you are still hung up on this issue is yet another example as to why the HLC should ignore everything you have ever said to them.
Time for the petition calling for McGuire to resign!
Please consider a donation to the Edgar County Watchdogs.
By Kirk Allen
Readers Comments (4)