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July 12, 2024

Clark Co. Park District's complete and total disregard for the law –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On July 15, 2015

Clark Co., IL. (ECWd) –
We have had extensive experience with numerous public bodies in the past four years, some fight against the Freedom of Information Act for awhile and realize they were wrong, some comply with FOIA and produce what is asked for, some fight FOIA in the court system spending thousands to keep public records from the public, but this is the first time we have come across a public body that just simply ignores their responsibility to the public and to the law.
The Clark County Park District, and Charity Murphy in particular, appears to have simply cast aside the Freedom of Information Act thinking she doesn’t have to comply with state law. She has refused to even respond to requests for over 7 weeks and counting.
Not counting the current FOIA lawsuit, I have no less than 13 FOIA requests for public records that have been ignored, and I know of at least 2 other people who have at least 3 FOIA requests that have been ignored.
This has led to a situation to where the public needs to know that Charity Murphy is placing the Park District in the position of fighting all of these in court and incurring court costs and attorney costs that the taxpayers will have to pay. Everyone will try and say that “we” are costing the park money – when the real truth is that the Park, and in particular, Charity Murphy, is costing itself money by refusing to follow the law.
So now we have a situation where the Chairman of the Board cheated to get on the ballot, with the assistance of Charity Murphy and the Clark County Clerk,  by knowingly having his petitions forged to place his name on the 2-year ballot spot – and he does nothing to ensure that the park director comply with the law. Maybe it’s some kind of collusion going on where the Park District is trying to keep from producing incriminating documents.
It’s no wonder this type of attitude is tolerated, I mean why not simply refuse to produce public records when they have already illegally compensated commissioners, violated grant assurances, violated the public officers prohibited activities act, given two pay raises in 2 months while claiming they are broke, lied about a “free” paint job, allow commissioners to get by without paying late fees in violation of the law, illegally use public credit for personal gain, what’s one more law violation that they will probably never get prosecuted on?
My oldest request was dated May 22, 2015 and is now more than 31 working days past the original due date.
What ever the case may be, this will not be tolerated and it appears that the only option left is to file more lawsuits to enforce our right to have access to public records.


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  • John Windmiller
    Posted at 12:49h, 15 July Reply

    Welcome to Clark County. They are tough nut to crack

  • Dave L.
    Posted at 16:37h, 15 July Reply

    You sound surprised by these acts, when in fact you know they don’t give a damn what you like or dislike. They are breaking the law? So what, this is Clark County at its norm… one has stopped them yet!! Why the hell doesn’t Jerry Parsley get involved with this rampant law breaking?? As the highest ranked LEO in the county, if he doesn’t care, well…..then we are all screwed!

  • PegB
    Posted at 14:39h, 16 July Reply

    As I have found out myself there is no support from the Attorney General’s office against those that do not comply. How much money do all of those in the AG’s office make each year and for what? We asked for the accounting from our city of $275,000 in hotel/motel tax and what we got was 67 pages of general ledgers. No approved motions to use the money, no appropriations, nothing but hard hats, pliers, dumpsters, etc. What did the AG’s office do when a complaint was filed – after a little further investigation they determined that the city had complied because the general ledger was all they had an they had supplied that. WHAT? Who is suppose to make them accountable? Until there is some bite in the statutes nothing will change.

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