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July 20, 2024

Almost six years later, Illinois’ AG determines college violated FOIA –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On May 29, 2020

DuPage Co., IL. (ECWd) –

On July 11, 2014, Kirk Allen requested copies, from the College of DuPage, of membership documents related to Max McGraws Wildlife Foundation for the previous five years.

On August 4, 2014, Allen filed a Request for Review with the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor’s Office.

Public funds were used to purchase the memberships, and the college had not provided the requested public records.

From this determination:

“The College stated that Ms. Mosher compiled 29 pages of responsive records based on her search, which were then passed to additional personnel for review. The College stated that it eventually furnished Mr. Allen with 15 pages of records. The College asserted that ” Ms. Mitchell does not believe she was the one who culled the number of documents down from 29 to 15″ and that “[ t]ypically, such decisions would be made by the department( s) where the potentially responsive documents were located” with additional determinations potentially made by the College’ s outside counsel or the President’ s Office. 7 The College further asserted: ” At this time, the College takes no position regarding the identity of the person( s) who made the decision( s) to withhold any or all of 14 documents.”” – (SEE our 2016 article exposing the then-College President for allegedly removing public records he did not want us to see, prior to handing them to their attorney for review)

“The College also stated that although the President’s Office initially advised Ms. Mitchell that it did not possess any responsive membership documents, litigation filed by the Chicago Tribune led to the discovery that the President’ s Office did, in fact, have Max McGraw membership documents. Such membership documents were subsequently produced to the Chicago Tribune and Mr. Allen in the summer of 2015.”

“Based on this office’s review of the information submitted by both parties, the College did not demonstrate that it fully responded to Mr. Allen’ s request. In addition, this office’s confidential review of those pages did not\ reveal any basis for withholding those records in their entireties. Indeed, two of those records directly related to the payment of membership dues by the College.”

“This office requests that the College disclose to Mr. Allen the remaining 14 pages of records related to Foundation expenses and payments.”

We are currently awaiting the production of the remaining responsive records to the 2014 FOIA request.

Why it took 5 years-10.5 months for the AG to close out a simple FOIA request for review is beyond our comprehension.

COD 30665 f 3d response incomplete univ_Redacted

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  • Michael Hagberg
    Posted at 11:31h, 29 May Reply

    Well, I thought I held the record of just over two years for a determination.

  • NiteCat
    Posted at 11:32h, 29 May Reply

    That’s our state…Johnny on the spot when it comes to Federal handouts, but slower than a snail when it comes to serving its residents.

  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 21:55h, 29 May Reply

    The AG and his office again. And again. And again. The longest response time from the AG’s office on matters I raised took something like three years.
    Could it be, the slow response and resolution of issues guarantees the public doesn’t ask any of the wrong questions; or, have any faith what so ever in the Illinois legal/judicial system? It sure looks that way.
    Do these delays assure the guilty escape with their crimes? Is this another example of justice delayed is justice denied? You bet ya.
    How is it; corrupt Illinois Officials leaning on the scales of justice are considered better than no government at all? Illinois needs to drain it’s swamp. The Governor, the AG and their offices would be the first places to start.

    Posted at 10:13h, 31 May Reply

    It took almost 6 years because the AG is the fox watching the henhouse. We, the people, do not have an advocate to ensure enforcement, let alone timely enforcement, of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or the Open Meeting Act (OMA). Even after a determination of wrong-doing from the AG, if a public body does not choose comply it is up to the individual to attempt enforcement in court.

  • CRS7304
    Posted at 22:16h, 11 June Reply

    I worked for CODPD for almost 17 years, and was bullied out of a job, and I quit due to what basically was a hostile work environment. Had to cash in my hard earned pension so that I could survive financially. Sent detailed emails to college president, board of trustees, nothing to my knowledge was done to those who bullied me out of my job. This police department is unreal, no accountability for the problem children on this PD. I have fortunately rebuilt my life, and started a new career, but this place has very little ethics. If they would have called me and tried getting me to come back I would have, but they pushed until I quit. I was a good officer and did my job the right way.

  • Corrupt State
    Posted at 09:35h, 01 July Reply

    COD ex President Robert Brueder should have been indicted by the US Attorney from the Northern District of Illinois. A massive amount of evidence was there to prosecute this guy who was essentially permitted to use taxpayer dollars inappropriately over a span of years. DuPage County States Attorney also did nothing. A gross miscarriage of justice. But so what? It’s routine in Illinois. Law enforcement is based on no enforcement.

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