LaSalle Co. (ECWd) -
I said the story was falling apart in this article. Chief of LaSalle Police Department, according to Illinois State Police criminal investigation reports, states the following: "Chief Uranich stated those other officers aren't productive". (See page 3 of 16)
In an effort to find out who those unproductive officers were, we filed a Freedom of Information request and ask for the discipline records of those officers of which the Chief was referring to when he told the ISP those "other" officers are not productive. As expected, the LaSalle PD has denied the FOIA. Due to what we considered an improper denial, we filed a request for review with the Attorney General Public Access Counselor. They confirmed further review is warranted and asked the PD to respond to the inquiry from the PAC.
The response is telling, to say the least.
"It is respectfully suggested that similarly herein, the requesting party is asking among other things that the Police Chief and the City of LaSalle first interpret the State Police Report which requires a certain amount of speculation and conjecture and then create a list that does not exist."
I did not ask the Chief of Police to interpret anything. Nor does it take any speculation and conjecture to identify the non-productive officers he told the ISP existed. The feeble attempt to say providing those names and their discipline records would constitute a creation of a public record is a stretch at best.
It gets better.
"Additionally, even assuming arguendo that a list of alleged non-productive officers did exist, which it does not, the same would be exempt for additional reasons including pursuant to the Illinois Personnel Review Act as being in the nature of a performance evaluation and thus exempt for the additional reasons set forth in the Illinois Personnel Review Act."
How can an ISP report state the Chief of Police stated there are non-productive officers in his department and then the attorney representing that person claim this is nothing more than an allegation? I alleged nothing. I asked for records for those officers the Chief of Police was referring too when he spoke with the ISP in a criminal investigation.
Also, note the selective wording in their argument for not turning over the discipline records of non-productive officers. They imply that I am asking for a list, which I did not. I asked for the discipline records of the non-productive officers referenced in the ISP criminal investigation report, which reports the Chief of Police said they do in fact have such officers.
Now they claim no such "list" exists. The argument won't hold up in our opinion. Using their logic, asking for the payroll of employees that have not taken vacation requires the creation of a list of those people. What we have here is a lawyer advocating for their client and playing word games to misrepresent what is being requested and create arguments to withhold information of public interest.
Which is it Chief Uranich? You have non-productive officers in your ranks or you don't. You told the ISP you did. We want to know who those officers are and review their discipline records, which are not protected from disclosure.
I suspect this will end up with the Chief of Police and his attorney making a claim there are no discipline records for the non-productive officers. If that is the case, why keep a police chief that fails to discipline known unproductive officers?
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