GLEN ELLYN, IL. (ECWd) -
Patricia Taves, the FOIA Officer for the Glen Ellyn Police Department responded to the Attorney General in reference to my complaint of their Freedom of Information Act denial for DUI arrest records.
Instead of a simple explanation of the facts, she decides on an all-out assault on the requester for daring to request any information in the first place.
If you remember the article a couple of weeks ago, I filed a complaint with the AG for a FOIA denial in which it appeared that the major reason for the denial was that I lived 194 miles from the municipality, therefore the information requested could never be of public interest. (read it here)
Now it appears that there are 117 reports, it is a small police department, and she could never produce it all in a reasonable amount of time, let alone within five days. She could have stopped at this point in the letter and it would have been a professional letter.
That would have been too easy. Instead she had to continue on and talks about another FOIA requester and how we are both "affiliated" with the same group --- failing to mention she gave him the grand run-around on his request and did not produce any DUI reports for him. What he requested was always "too vague", and when he tried to adjust it to what she wanted, there was always some other reason to claim she could not provide it. (read the email string here) Here is what was denied in his request, but keep in mind that only one line was requested - the others were an attempt at clarification of the same request:
- Taves denied a request for any 10 prosecuted DUI arrest reports in the last 6 months
- Taves denied a request for the last 10 prosecuted DUI arrest reports
- Taves denied a request for any 10 most recent DUI arrest reports
- Taves denied a request for 10 DUI arrest reports that had already been prosecuted from 2013
- Taves denied a request for 10 DUI arrest reports that had already been prosecuted from 2012
All he was after were ten DUI reports from people that had already been prosecuted. He even told her she could redact the names because it did not matter who received the DUI - but that was much too difficult.
This is the point where I filed a FOIA request for two years worth of DUI arrest records. Taves replied that it was excessive and asked me to reduce it to a manageable size. I replied that one year's worth would work. Then she replied that it would still be excessive.
Does this pattern of conversations look all too familiar with the above attempt at obtaining records?
I thought so, and I replied "please provide the requested records". Please note that there was no indication from Taves on how many records there were, and no suggestions on what she would consider reasonable. She then promptly denied the entire request, and I responded by filing the complaint with the AG's Office. (read the email string here)
The October 1, 2014 letter to the AG continues by claiming that I wrote an article and didn't have very many comments on it, therefore it was not of public interest - Like it's up to her to give that term a definition. She failed to account for readership numbers, which by the way is over 1.5 million, social media comments, emailed comments, etc.
The bottom line here is that the FOIA was violated by an improper denial, and she never once asked for additional time to respond as provided for in FOIA.
Glen Ellyn's Response to the AG (here)
My response to their response (here)