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February 27, 2024

Arcola Township Denies Public Records for the 4th time in 6 Weeks –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On May 18, 2014

In yet another disgusting display of public mockery of the Freedom Of Information Act and of the Public Access Counselor’s Office, the Township of Arcola has determined they don’t need to respond to Freedom Of Information Act (“FOIA”) requests from the public.
The Illinois Attorney General has failed to act on the previous denials, so why wouldn’t the township keep denying them. There has been absolutely no recourse for citizens trying to gain their right to access public records of this particular public body.
The residents of Arcola Township need to contact their trustees and township clerk and tell them this is unacceptable. The denials from last year have costs the township residents an estimate of over $12,000 so far (that’s TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLARS), trying to keep credit card statements from the public. That lawsuit is not finished yet, so the price tag keeps climbing. I estimate by the time it is over, the Trustees and William Coombe will have cost the taxpayers well over $15,000 – just to have to produce the records anyway. That is the law.
This latest batch of denials will probably result in the filing of four separate FOIA civil suits against the Township. If they go the same way the current suit is going, the price tag will certainly exceed $75,000 by the end of this year. All on your backs, because the Township officials know they are spending your money, not theirs.
I know, they will try to blame the requesters, but the law is on the side of producing the requested public records. It’s not a hard thing to do unless you are trying to hide wrong-doing.
Ultimately you, the taxpayer, are paying the price for your elected official’s flagrant violations of the law.
The most recent FOIA request for review was sent to the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor this morning and can be viewed below.
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  • Michael Mastin
    Posted at 08:36h, 18 May

    What is the Attorney General doing? This is ridiculous! What recourse do you have if the State will not act? This should promote a public outcry the likes that has never been seen before! What are these criminals hiding in Arcola? That is what the citizens should be asking and demanding!

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 08:50h, 18 May

      The only recourse is filing civil suit in court. The AG is no help when they take over 2 years to render an opinion and cannot prosecute. We are working on changes to the Freedom Of Information Act that would subject the individual to fines and fees for willful violations, but for now they can continue to throw taxpayer money at attorneys and get by with it. After all, until it comes out of their personal bank accounts, they do not care what they spend.

  • who are you kidding
    Posted at 10:57h, 18 May

    Township board, you need to quit whining about the mess you are in, being other people’s fault. You need to look within your own 4 walls and realize the problem started there. This mess is the result of your road commissioner and part time secretary having no regard for state statute for townships. Are you all willing to go down because of those 2? Why not just admit the wrong doing, wash your hands of her and start fresh? How far are you willing to go to protect them? It already has gone too far!!

  • 1 question
    Posted at 13:27h, 18 May

    Dee Lindenmeyer was a good friend of Arcola and a pillar in the community,and a close friend of Corky Clark.That being said I would ask Arcola Township Supervisor and Chairman of the Arcola Township Board,Corky Clark this question:” If Dee were here today,what would he say about your leadership of the Board allowing Arcola Township to be sued because they will not release taxpayer funded information as is required by law?”

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 22:30h, 18 May

      Just think about this: The Township only budgeted $10,000 for legal fees for the year…

  • Taxpayer
    Posted at 07:05h, 19 May

    jmkraft you and your organization will be the blame for costing the taxpayers all of this money. They have there blind little group that believes that they do no wrong. That little circle is getting much smaller though so keep it up. The truth will come out then whom does not believe the truth does not matter.

  • like 2 know
    Posted at 07:53h, 19 May

    I’d like 2 know why when someone away from here that has no ties to Arcola can see what a few locally refuse to see.Recently a couple of people posted comments about the actions of the Arcola Township Board,the lawsuit,and hiding criminal activity while refusing to release all the information they have access to.Using loop holes to jump from court date to court date betting this will go away and all be forgotten.ECWD have stayed true to their word,they have not gone anywhere other than closer to the truth.

  • Richey Rich
    Posted at 13:09h, 19 May

    I can hear it now; Corky Clark blaming everyone else again for the issues the Township has. He needs to shut his yap and do his job. It got back to me who he was blaming all of this on. The blame clearly is on the Clerk not doing a job he was elected to do & the board for not stepping up to do their job. How hard can it be to copy checks that were written in a two-month period? Now they claim of having a FULL TIME secretary. She can make copies or is that beneath her? There can’t be much of a day-to-day workload there or for that matter much of a week-to-week workload. What in the world does she do all day? I would say, not much of anything. I feel this is going to get a lot uglier before it’s over. Thanks Arcola Township

  • Lake Lady
    Posted at 19:40h, 19 May

    1 question was spot on,if Dee were here he never would have let Deana run rough shod over Corky.This hole mess still goes back to the desk at 108 East Main,run by Deana,Mark,andBill not Corky or the Board.