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July 20, 2024

William Coombe has Arcola Township fighting 4th FOIA Suit –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On June 2, 2014

Arcola Township is now facing its 4th lawsuit for alleged violations of the Illinois Freedom Of Information Act.
UPDATE: Summons was served on June 3, 2014.

Douglas County case number: 2014-MR-20.

That’s right – the FOURTH lawsuit in the past 8 months.
William Coombe, the Arcola Township Clerk, and the entire Arcola Township Board of Trustees must be pretty proud of themselves for letting their attorney, Mark Petty continue making money off the backs of the township taxpayers.
Something as simple as copying a few pieces of paper and sticking them in the mail is way too difficult for them to be bothered with.
So now we have lawsuit number 4. Number 5 will follow shortly if the Township does not pull their head out and comply with the law.
This is a classic example of the need for FOIA reform that forces public officials to be held personally liable when they lose FOIA suits. That is the only way to stop the bleeding of public funds simply because an individual doesn’t feel the need to follow the law.
Here are the steps to comply with the law:
1. Receive request for public records.
2. Copy request – put in a file, collect records.
3. Send responsive documents to person requesting records.
4. Done.
Simple, isn’t it?

Copy of the lawsuit is below:

[gview file=”” save=”1″]


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  • who are you kidding
    Posted at 17:25h, 02 June Reply

    I clearly do not understand the thinking of our township, at this point!!! What are they trying to prove? Attorney Petty responded on one foia request that they do not answer questions, yet Mr. Kraft recently sent foia request and ask how many full time employees township has and also requested copies of all foias township has received during a certain period of time. They answered the QUESTION regarding employees, but did not supply foias. Kind of a contradiction of his earlier response. The Board needs to get control of this situation, NOW!!!

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 17:48h, 02 June Reply

      They have control.
      They use your tax money to pay an attorney to delay production of public records as long as possible.
      I will get the records, the only question is how much will they spend to delay the inevitable.
      The entire township should celebrate and throw them a party for their ingenious ways to scoff at the law.

  • back bencher
    Posted at 18:35h, 02 June Reply

    I see the Fire trucks have been outside for a couple of days,is that so the Republican Cacus can have a party honoring this township board that got us into this mess?Dose anybody really think this is what they were elected for?The Board has no say in the matter,Deana and Mark have seen to that,Butch,Barney,Joey,and Dale grow a pair and save some of your credibility,and Bill do your job,answer the FOIA’s!

  • Amazing Arcola
    Posted at 19:54h, 02 June Reply

    Corky Clark (Township Supervisor) has said publicly that the ECWD have given the town a black eye,really!And just what has this board done,refuse to release ordinary, everyday receipts that any good business keeps for their records.Corky,by hiding information that was payed for by tax dollars,and not complying with the LAW,you and the Board have done what you accused others of doing.What a way to be remembered!!!

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 20:15h, 02 June Reply

      Corky Clark and the trustees gave the town a black eye. All I did was ask for public records.

  • Executor
    Posted at 20:01h, 02 June Reply

    The problem is is what they are telling all of there uninformed followers . Keep up the pressure to get this in print in our local paper. Bill Coombes reputation in this town is being seen for what it has always been just trying to show his self importance and he is getting to do that with someone else’s money. He would not do that with his own money ,he seems pretty good at using. Hope the judge has some encouraging words in the next few days

  • Broom Corn Joni
    Posted at 07:16h, 03 June Reply

    jmkraft is right,Corky Clark and HIS board is squarely to blame for the taxpayers money to be wasted on a lawsuit.We the People know this all could go away if they would stop hiding the wrong doing and follow the law.I agree with b.b.,Bill Coombe do your job and answer the FOIA’s fully.

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