Maine Township (ECWd) –
All indications are pointing to Maine Township’s inability to follow the law as it relates to General Assistance, Freedom of Information, and our State Constitution (more on that in a future article).
General Assistance is one of the few welfare programs we have that require the recipient to register, and work, without compensation for a taxing district or private not-for-profit. The specific law is clear, and it requires the Township Supervisor, who is in total control of General Assistance, to maintain this roster and make the roster available to inspection by all taxing districts or private not-for-profit organizations.
(305 ILCS 5/6-1.7) Sec. 6-1.7. A recipient of financial aid under this Article, which money or vendor payment is made by a local governmental unit which administers aid under this Article and is not a County Department, who is required under Section 6-1.4 to register for and accept bona fide offers of employment as provided in Section 11-20 but is not required to participate in a job search, training and work program under Section 9-6, must also register for work with such local governmental unit and must perform work without compensation for a taxing district or private not-for-profit organization as provided in this Section.
A local governmental unit which administers aid under this Article shall maintain a roster of the persons who have registered for work in such local governmental unit, and shall assure that such roster is available for the inspection of the governing authorities of all taxing districts or private not-for-profit organizations, or the duly authorized agents thereof, for the selection of possible workers. Each such local governmental unit shall cause persons, who are selected by a taxing district or private not-for-profit organization to perform work, to be notified at least 24 hours in advance of the time the work is to begin.
We are a non-profit organization and requested that roster.
A copy of the General Assistance recipient roster of the persons who have registered for work as outlined in Article VI of the public aid act. This roster is to be available for inspection by private not-for-profit organizations, which we are, for the selection of possible workers.
What did Maine Township provide in response?
Maine Township is not the keeper of these records. These records are in custody of Illinois Department of Employment Security. Please contact them for further information
So it is clear from the response, there are records as they have directed me to another agency they claim are in the custody of. Although the law says the Township shall keep this roster, we filed a FOIA with the IDES.
In response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request shown below, we have no records that are responsive to your request. The Public Aid Code requires the township to maintain the roster in question. There is no such requirement for this Department to maintain such a roster.
So it is more than apparent, Maine Township has misled, and more than likely outright lied about the roster they are required to keep. The IDES response confirms the requirements of the Township to maintain this roster, just as the law says.
The fact the Township claims this roster is in custody of IDES confirms they had the information and by their response, provided it to another agency. Although the state claims no knowledge of the record, it is more than evident the Township is not complying with the law by not maintaining the roster and providing it for inspection.
Once again we call for the immediate resignation of Laura Morask, the Township Supervisor, who is not following the law as it applies to General Assistance and other matters. The Taxpayers have a right to accountability and compliance with the law.
All indication is we are going to have to file a FOIA lawsuit for the requested records. When that happens, blame none other than the Township Supervisor.
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