TUSCOLA, IL. (ECWd) -
During the hearing on this FOIA civil suit yesterday, the attorney for Arcola Township successfully argued that the service of the summons was improper and therefore the Court had no jurisdiction. The Judge agreed.
The summons was served as: "William Coombe, c/o Arcola Township, 108 N. Main Street, Arcola, IL. (a copy of the suit was attached). It was even annotated on the back under "corporation defendants" - The defense successfully argued that it did not properly notify the Township, it only notified the township clerk as an individual.
So, from all appearances, the Township of Arcola kept the suit from moving forwards...congratulations.
What the people...you know, the taxpayers of Arcola Township need to be aware of is that this decision was not a decision on alleged FOIA violations, it was simply a decision on whether or not the summons service was executed properly. So you, the taxpayer, spent more of your money to stop that suit based on those grounds.
The elected township officials would rather spend more of your money to have the attorney prepare for the new suit (13-MR-53), properly served of course. It looks to me like the only person that won anything is the person collecting your money. The township could have accepted the intent of the service, although not completely within statutoral guidelines, and argued on whether FOIA was violated and if they had to release the public records.
So the next time you see your township officials, shake their hand and tell them they did a fine job...if you don't mind them spending more of your money in this fashion.
You can download and read a copy of the new civil suit here, I added another count to it for their "alleged" improper imposition of fees.