CARLINVILLE, IL. (ECWd) -
According to the Macoupin County Enquirer Democrat and Mayor Deanna Demuzio, I am "targeting" Carlinville "again"... if asking for public records and demanding they be provided equates to "targeting" the City of Carlinville, then I am guilty.
Carlinville has been one of the most secretive public bodies we have ever encountered in the past 5 years (Sawyerville is quickly working its way into the number one position on that list). Nowhere else have we had this amount of trouble obtaining what they are required to provide. It is time for them to fire their attorneys and hire some that understand the Freedom of Information Act, and that can follow simple directions.
Quote from the MCED:
“It’s unfortunate that after all these many months, going back through December, then having all of the things that happened with petitions, and all the things that the city has been involved in, including all the things with me, that we have now reached the point, again, where someone here in town contacted the Edgar County Watchdogs. Now, we’re at another suit. I hope it comes to an end. Our attorney will be looking at this and we will be filing our response here shortly,” said Mayor Deanna Demuzio, who stated that all of the materials requested by Kraft have been sent. “We have met all of the requests he has made through FOIA. Unfortunately, we will have to respond to this suit.”
This quote kind of makes me wonder if an intern from the local college wrote this piece.
- we haven't "reached this point again" - this is a continuation of attempts to obtain public records from the city that they have failed to provide.
- There are at least three more FOIA suits on the way - all due to the city's failure to provide public records as required by law - let that sink in for a minute...Demuzio and the "attorney" are more than willing to make the taxpayers of Carlinville pay out their backsides to try and keep these public records from becoming public. It is their actions causing these lawsuits, they have failed Carlinville residents and failed to comply with the law.
- Demuzio played word-games with "we have met all of the requests he has made through FOIA" - someone please ask her to qualify that statement. Most people would read that to mean they provided all the requested public records - they did not.
This legal action was brought about thru the City of Carlinville's refusal to provide public records as requested, their refusal to abide by time-lines set forth in the Freedom of Information Act, their refusal to cooperate with investigations by the Illinois Attorney General's Public Access Counselor, and their continued lies during public meetings in reference to FOIA requests and non-existent responses.
Either the Mayor, Clerk, and attorney are all lying to the public, or one of them has failed their duty to respond to FOIA requests - either way, the blame lies squarely on the back of the City Clerk and FOIA Officer, Mrs. Carla Brockmeier. It is her duty to comply with the law, regardless of what the Mayor or the city attorney instructs her to do. They do not have the authority to impede her lawful duty of properly responding to FOIA requests, even though it appears they have.
Not only have they not responded to me with the public records requested, they have refused to answer every inquiry [from the FOIA requests involved in the lawsuit] from the Illinois Attorney General and failed to respond to at least 2 other FOIA requesters and the AG's inquiry of those.
They have never even responded to the AG's Office: HERE and HERE - there are more, but these are examples of the serious problems posed by Carlinville's legal advice. This attorney appears to be racking up legal bills for bad advice, and Mayor Demuzio is allowing it to happen.