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July 13, 2024

Sunshine Week 2018: Carlinville, keeping people in the dark –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On March 12, 2018


Carlinville keeps its citizens in the dark, hides public records, lies about it.

Yes, Carlinville taxpayers, you are paying dearly for your city’s refusal to provide simple records that the law says they must provide. Instead, they are spending thousands of your hard-earned dollars to keep from providing those records.

Those attempts of keeping you in the dark will fail, and I will be there to explain how much of your tax money they flushed – all because your Mayor and your FOIA Officer made the choice to hide public records.

Here are the experiences of several individuals with Carlinville in the past 18 months or so:

  • Jan 16, 2017: FOIA Request submitted – no answer
  • Feb 14, 2017: Carlinville paid its attorney $482 to falsely claim I was a commercial requester, demanded $200 and 35 working days to produce meeting agendas, meeting minutes, and petition objection packets for the Carlinville Electoral Board
  • February 15, 2017: FOIA Request submitted – no answer
  • February 22, 2017: Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (“PAC”) asked Carlinville for an explanation – this is repeated throughout 2017 and Carlinville refused to answer the AG’s PAC on nearly all of them
  • March 17, 2017: Carlinville attorney replied to the Feb 15 FOIA request improperly denying the request and claiming they would need an additional 15 business days to produce 7 pieces of paper – they never produced anything
  • March 18, 2017: FOIA request sent to Carlinville – no answer
  • March 17, 2017: FOIA Lawsuit filed against Carlinville
  • March 24, 2017: We published an article about the Carlinville Treasurer complaining about a previous article we wrote about the Mayor hiding credit card bills, which she was and still is hiding. The Treasurer claimed we impugned her reputation, but has still not provided the credit card statements that were requested under FOIA
  • March 28, 2017: We alleged Carlinville’s Mayor is denying FOIA requests for the purpose of influencing the upcoming election
  • March 28, 2017: We write about two more FOIA complaints being sent to the PAC
  • April 1, 2017: FOIA request sent to Carlinville – no answer
  • April 3, 2017: The ‘Burnian, a local newspaper of Blackburn College where Carlinville’s Mayor sat on the Board of Trustees, published an un-researched hit-piece which included many lies told by the Mayor. The author even implied we were “being investigated” for interfering with the electoral process. We were never “investigated” and we never interfered with anything – this was simply another lie by the Mayor and a failed local newspaper owner
  • April 3, 2017: Carlinville city council directs their attorney to provide all records requested prior to that date – none were ever provided
  • April 15, 2017: Two FOIA request sent to Carlinville – no answer
  • April 16, 2017: FOIA request sent to Carlinville – no answer
  • April 17, 2017: Carlinville published meeting minutes with inaccurate information (later corrects it after AG gets involved) – claims they sent requested records to me on a CD, later admits, in another FOIA request, that no CD (and consequently no records) was ever sent
  • Spring of 2017: Carlinville attorney, on camera during public meeting, admits that they are denying public records because they want to litigate it so that they can find out during depositions who asked me to request the records I requested – if that doesn’t prove Carlinville’s willful, intentional, and in bad faith violations of FOIA, I don’t know what would
  • April 27, 2018: FOIA request sent to Carlinville – no answer
  • May 5, 2017: Carlinville attorney admits in writing that no CD was ever provided to me
  • July 11, 2017: FOIA lawsuit #2 filed against Carlinville
  • July 11, 2017: AG published BINDING OPINION number 17-009 stating that Carlinville violated the FOIA
  • July 2017: Carlinville’s mayor implied to local newspaper that they had provided all the records I requested – she lied, they printed it
  • By September of 2017: We realized that Carlinville didn’t even bother to answer the AG’s PAC on complaints we sent, even after being asked several times to respond
  • August 11, 2017: FOIA lawsuit #3 filed against Carlinville
  • October 2, 2017: Alderman lies to Carlinville city council about my comments at a meeting the month prior
  • October 19, 2017: FOIA lawsuit #4 filed against Carlinville
  • October 4, 2017: We published a teaser article on falsified water test results being sent to the EPA – we will publish the evidence shortly
  • November 1, 2017: AG published nonbinding opinion no: 2016 PAC 49874 stating that Carlinville violated the Open Meetings Act on September 25, 2017
  • November 6, 2017: Carlinville attorney claims the AG attorneys work for minimum wage while complaining about the PAC’s opinion
  • November 17, 2017: Fosterburg sees the writing on the wall and pulls out of the private water company deal
  • December 2017: Carlinville [illegally] participates in forming a private company with taxpayer funds (we believe a municipality lack authority to form a private water company)
  • December 14, 2017: Carlinville elected officials to receive Notice of Criminal Trespass warning prohibiting them from attending a meeting of a private water company that the city of Carlinville owns
  • January 10, 2018: FOIA Request sent to Carlinville – they refused to answer
  • January 17, 2018: We publish Carlinville’s federal grant and note it was used for a purpose other than what the grant application stated it would be used for
  • February 19, 2018: FOIA request sent to Carlinville – they refused to answer
  • February 23, 2018: Carlinville and other entities in the private water company sued. The suit challenges their authority to operate the private water company
  • March 5, 2018: Carlinville warns residents about its [illegal] public comment rules, claims nobody can question individual aldermen at a meeting. If they do, they will be removed from the meeting
  • March 7, 2018: AG’s PAC issues another nonbinding opinion stating that Carlinville violated the Open Meetings Act during its January 2, 2018, meeting when it tried using city council rules to subvert the Open Meetings Act
  • March 2018: FOIA lawsuit #5 will soon be filed against Carlinville

Another assault on access to public records: Alderman Cindy Campbell refuses to provide any records from her appointed position (we believe it to be an illegal appointed position) as board member to the private water company owned in part by the city of Carlinville. She claims the attorney for that private water company owned by the city is the one who has to release the information. We disagree. That will be the 5th lawsuit soon to be filed against the city of Carlinville for its denial of public records.

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  • Christine Trzos
    Posted at 13:14h, 12 March Reply

    Those lemmings in Carlinville sure are wealthy! One of the highest unemployment rates in the state, and soon to have the rug pulled out with new water rates (if Deanna and Cindy get their way). But that’s the Demuzio Way….. Do the voters even care?

  • Judge Roy Bean
    Posted at 15:19h, 12 March Reply

    Hang em HIGH !

  • Sherry Brianza
    Posted at 11:15h, 03 August Reply

    This is a quite a good review/reminder of how the Mayor of C’ville & several elected officials/recently Good buddies & pd. Atty’s or not doing right by we the taxpayers! Why NO transparency & why hide information requested – it’s against the laws. NO open books here! When is the next election? Time to clean house so this beloved City can start climbing out of the financial hole & mess we are in. We all deserve better transparency for Carlinville!

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