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May 27, 2024

AG: Algonquin Township violated FOIA, refused to cooperate –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On July 11, 2019


The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (“PAC”) issued a determination letter stating that Algonquin Township violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) when they denied my March 21, 2019, FOIA request for certain records of the township.

James Kelly, Algonquin Township Attorney, after repeated phone calls and requests for information from the AG’s PAC Office, apparently refused to provide the information requested by the PAC.

The FOI Act requires a public body to provide the PAC with the information they request, even if it is privileged, and requires a public body to fully cooperate with the PAC.

Algonquin Township did neither, and this isn’t the first time they have refused to cooperate or provide records to the PAC. It is becoming a habit for them, and apparently, the Township Trustees are happy spending taxpayer’s hard-earned money on an attorney that refuses to comply with the law.

In its determination letter, the PAC asked the township to provide a copy of the requested records to me with only permissible redactions.

Any further failure on the township’s part to comply with this request will generate another FOIA lawsuit against Algonquin Township.

As with any other FOIA request – all the township has to do is comply with the law, but recent history shows us they are not willing to do that.

We urge residents to tell their township trustees how much they appreciate throwing tax money at the township’s attorney in these matters.

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  • Michael Hagberg
    Posted at 09:21h, 12 July Reply

    I’m a little surprised that the PAC didn’t issue a fine. When a Township blatantly ignores the Attorney General’s request for documents a clear message should be sent.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 09:24h, 12 July Reply

      they have the power to Subpoena for the records, but I know of no time they ever exercised that power

  • Roger
    Posted at 11:04h, 12 July Reply

    Here is a quote from Forbes that seems relevant:

    ‘Lawyer: The only man in whom ignorance of the law is not punished.’

  • Roger
    Posted at 11:18h, 12 July Reply

    ‘The only people who don’t want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide.’
    Barack Obama, August 21, 2010

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