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May 29, 2024

AG Binding Opinion: Kankakee County violated Freedom of Information Act –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On February 28, 2020

Kankakee Co. (ECWd) –

In its second Binding Opinion in 2020, the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor has issued a Binding Opinion stating that the County of Kankakee had violated the freedom of Information Act by failing to comply with, deny in whole or in part, or otherwise appropriately respond to an FOIA request submitted by Mr. Scott J. Schweickert.

Essentially, Kankakee County ignored the FOIA request, failed to respond to two inquiries of the AG PAC when asked for information, and then failed to provide a written response to the AG or the requester even though they said they would, and claimed they were still searching for the records.

The AG directed Kankakee County to take immediate and appropriate action to comply with the Binding Opinion by providing the requester with all responsive records, subject only to permissible redactions.

“Therefore, it is the opinion of the Attorney General that the County has violated section 3( d) of FOIA by failing, within five business days after receiving Mr. Schweickert’ s October 21, 2019, FOIA request, to provide copies of the requested records, to extend the time for its response pursuant to section 3( e) of FOIA, or to deny the request in whole or in part. Accordingly, the County is hereby directed to take immediate and appropriate action to comply
with this opinion by providing Mr. Schweickert with all records responsive to his October 21, 2019, request, subject only to permissible redactions, if any, under section 7 of FOIA . . .”

Read the Binding Opinion below:


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  • Dave
    Posted at 11:27h, 28 February Reply


    Posted at 23:40h, 29 February Reply

    Can the bar get any higher for the Public Access Counselor to issue a binding opinion? Don’t respond to the requester, don’t respond to PAC, don’t respond to PAC again, don’t provide a written response to PAC after promising to do so. If this is the level of defiance that it takes to impel PAC to issue a binding opinion, it’s no wonder this is only their second one this year.

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