EDGAR CO. (ECWd) –
The hearing in the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit of Kraft (Plaintiff) vs Conover (acting as FOIA officer) and Clark-Edgar Rural Water District (Defendants) was held on December 11, 2012. This lawsuit, 12-MR-44, was filed on October 3, 2012 in response to the CERWD’s denial of a FOIA request for public documents in violation of 5 ILCS 140, the Illinois Freedom Of Information Act.
The complaint sought a declaration from the court that the defendants were in violation of the Act, production of the document(s) requested, payment of fees and costs, and other just and equitable relief as outlined in the Act.
The issue in this case was that the CERWD attempted to pass off an invoice to plaintiff, incurred by a separate party in a separate FOIA request, therefore effectively denying the plaintiff FOIA request.
The order by the court that Denied the Motion to Dismiss did not come as a surprise to the Plaintiff, as the law speaks for itself and is quite clear on the issue.
What happens next? I believe the CERWD attorney will recommend the district pay the costs/fees and produce the document(s). The next water district meeting in Monday, Dec 17, 2012; the agenda for the meeting has an executive session scheduled to discuss and act on litigation. I’ll let you know what happens…
Below are the documents pertaining to this suit.
Original Complaint file October 3, 2012
Plaintiff Response to Motion To Dismiss
Defendant Memorandum of Law and Authorities in Support of Motion to Dismiss
Memorandum of Law and Authorities in Support of Plaintiff Response to Defendant Motion to Dismiss
Edgar County WatchdogsPosted at 12:33h, 14 December
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jmkraftPosted at 18:21h, 15 December
Message to ECWd: Mr Kraft I hope what your doing getting papers from cewd doesnt
effect my cost of getting water. I am glad to have city water and glad I got
there service but court costs and so forth will probably cost me money. I hope
you celebrated your victory.
You stated you have city water – it will not affect you.
As far as the costs and fees:
– All of the costs, fees, their attorney fees, etc. are of their own
choosing – they made a decision to spend public money in this fashion.
– If the CERWD and their attorney would have actually read the FOIA statute
and comprehended what they read, they would have known they were not in compliance.
– I could have hired an attorney – and they would have had to pay that bill also,
but chose to do it pro se in an attempt at saving the CERWD on attorney fees – since
I know they will not prevail.
– If you are truely worried about the affect this will have on your water bill, you
should go to the next meeting – Dec 17 @ 7:00p.m. – and ask them why they would spend
your money in this fashion.
– I will celebrate when the case is closed. It isn’t over yet. The trustees must
decide whether to continue or settle – this was simply a denial of their motion
You can post anon comment on the website – just use a fake name and fake email – they
will get answered faster…
jmkraftPosted at 18:30h, 15 December
Message from same loyal reader:
Message: hope your happy about getting your papers
I haven’t got the papers yet, it’s up to the trustees on whether they wish to
spend your money to fight something they don’t have a chance to win.
When I get them I will be happy 🙂
sandyPosted at 13:14h, 16 December
When CERWD first began they told everyone that the water bills would automatically
go up after you got water by 5-10 %. ECWd has nothing to do with a rise in cost. At
that time we did not want their water because we had a good well, we still do not
have their water and have saved hundreds of dollars. I hope the ones that are on
CERWD have not regretted their choice.
sandyPosted at 13:21h, 16 December
When CERWD first began they told everyone that the water bills would go up
automatically 5-10% every year. If bills do go up it is not ECWD’s fault, as
this was a stated fact before.
jmkraftPosted at 10:07h, 18 December
Dear loyal reader (from a couple comments ago),
I see you don’t care enough to show up to a meeting and ask the CERWD trustees
why they voted to give each employee a $250 Christmas present – just before
voting to request a 6 month extension on their line of credit from the bank
because they can’t (or won’t) pay it.
Please call them and ask them if those 2 decisions will cause your water rates
to increase. Their phone number is (217) 463-5888.