DuPage Twp, IL. (ECWd) -
We have received information that wannabe "hard-hitting news source" Bonnie Kurowski has sent a threatening email to Township Trustees and the Township Supervisor making all kinds of wild, incoherent accusations, threatening criminal and civil actions, and even threatening to file a complaint with the DuPage County State's Attorney and the National Security Division of the Department of Justice.
Here is the best part: Kurowski published a confidential Township report (which ended up being a big nothing-burger) on an employee complaint and is now complaining about public information being released. Does anyone else spot the hypocrisy?
I guess the phrase "Bad decisions make great stories the next day..." is true after all...
Since this letter has been placed on November 17, 2020, Township Meeting Agenda for discussion, we will provide our comments below.
The bulleted sentences are Bonnie's, and taken from the email as sent - we did not correct any of the misspellings. It was a simple copy and paste.
Our comments follow hers and are Bold and Underlined.
Read the letter as she sent it below, or HERE.
ITEM: X (C) on the November 17, 2020, DuPage Township Meeting Agenda
- My name is Bonnie Kurowski. Two months ago I requested a FOIA. It is my right to do so legally and your job to fullfill it when possible.
- I expected the FOIA to be treated as policy dictated, that if anyone requested my FOIA it would be through a FOIA officer and my personal information would be redacted. This is the process for anyone asking for information from DuPage Township and all other government agencies under FOIA laws. It is why you ceritify your FOIA officer.
WHAT you expect is of no consequence. There is no requirement to actually file an FOIA request thru an FOIA officer in order to obtain public records. That process merely places the responsibility on the public body to answer truthfully, and for the public to hold them accountable when they do not.
- So I followed process and requested by FOIA, who FOIAed my FOIA request.
- My request was denied. It was denied because there was no request for my submitted FOIA by legal channels.
WRONG - It was denied because the Township "did not possess any documents responsive to your request"
- Which means someone there bypassed the process, disregarded FOIA laws, stepped on the duties of your FOIA officer, made a decision to send it out, even though not properly trained, and sent my request to media without a certified Foia certificate in their name.
THERE is no “bypassing the FOIA process” since the FOIA only holds a public body responsible for answering. It does not place a mandate on the public to use the Act.
- The Township is now Liable. My personal info was not redacted. I was not treated properly amd under the laws that protect me, and my rights were harmed. This harm caused my name and reputation to be defamed. The "fake media" that was sent my information has since removed the wrong information, but thebdamge was done over a month of post before removal. No apology or retraction was offered.
BUSINESS email addresses are not “personal information” as found in Section 2 (c-5) of the Act. Even IF there was personal information, redacting it is OPTIONAL. We know of no “fake media” who was sent the information. If it is talking about us, we did not remove anything from the original article she talked about. All of the article is true, therefore, there was no reason for any apology or retraction. Besides, if she was so concerned, why would she publish her own "personal" email address for the world to see (here)?
- Therefore, one of the board, a recipient of my request, used Township email and leaked my request and private information to a person who calls himself a member of the media violating my rights. This is now a civil and criminal matter.
FALSE and speculative. Anyone, including an employee, could have forwarded that info to us, and providing non-secret public records is not a “leak” by any definition. Providing those emails is not a “civil and criminal matter” and no rights were violated.
- This person, Trustee Allysia Benford, not only leaked my request information but invoked this person to take criminal action. This included cyber stalking, harassment, calling my employment, posting liable information publically about me, as well as releasing my company information.
FALSE and speculative. Nobody “leaked” any information and certainly nobody “invoked this person to take criminal action” as alleged above. Publishing public records can never be considered “cyber stalking, harassment, calling my employment, posting liable information publicly, or releasing her company information.”
- The laws broken were not only criminal cyber stalking laws, civil laws for violating FOIA laws, defamation, but IL Ethics laws too.
THERE were no laws broken, let alone any criminal cyber stalking laws, FOIA laws, defamation, or Illinois Ethics Laws.
- This violated IL ethics act 2-480 (5) conflict of interest, 2-483 (b) prohibited employment, 2-484(a) inproper use of confidential information, and 2-486 whistleblower protections.
THE CITED information above is not found in the LAW. It is found in the DuPage County Ordinance Book – and only applies to DuPage County Employees – DuPage Township is not located in DuPage County.
- Due to the number of criminal and civil violations that transpired because of the leak, I have had no choice but to submit for State Whistleblower violations today and launch another State Investigation for ethics violations. This is now located in the States Attorneys office in Dupage.
FALSE. There were no “number of criminal and civil violations” and there was no “leak.” State Ethics laws are not applicable to this situation. The State’s Attorney’s office in DuPage County has no jurisdiction in DuPage Township.
- I am calling for the Supervisor and Trustees to take immediate action, violate her, investigate her leaks, report them to the proper authorities, and secure the Township from all threats she has exposed the Township to, while waiting on the States Attorney action.
CALL ON them all you want, there is no action to be taken. The State’s Attorney will take no action – no laws were violated.
- I'm requesting that upon this complaint, an investigator should promptly conduct a jurisdictional investigation to determine whether the person named in my complaint has leaked any classified information, not just mine, and to what extent these leaks affect local and national level governmental security breaches.
CLASSIFIED information – LOL. National and Local Governmental Security Breaches. Another LOL – She must think her FOIA requests were for some type of super-secret national security info from a local township. What a joke.
- I'm also asking that she be censured at a special meeting scheduled ASAP to prevent her access and votes from further meetings and documents until a full investigation is run, goverment information is secured, and a summary of the breach is sent to the correct authorities. Failure to do so will show me you are not taking me or the security of your private information of residents seriously. I will report that immediatly to the authorities and media.
NO SPECIAL meeting can be had to prevent an elected township official from accessing the records of the Township. Nothing can prevent her from voting during meetings, nothing can prohibit her from accessing township records, no investigation is warranted, and there was no government information breach. Report it to whomever you want to report it to – it will go nowhere.
- Not doing these things within the next 30 days will prompt me to pursue Federal level action with my documents as supporting proof. I reserve the right to seek criminal and civil action if deemed necessary. I will seek restitution for my time, costs, and misc for violations of the data breach and include other breach information I have acquired.
THERE IS NO federal level action to pursue. Seek all the criminal and civil action you want – it will go nowhere. There was no data breach.
- I am hoping you take goverment security important. You have been given the job to protect the employees, elected officials, and residents personal information safe from harm. You failed me and possibly many others and have yet to take action.
NO failure, no action to take.
- According to US Intelligence Agency reports, Federal employee leaks are a serious matter. You have a Federal Employee doing it for political gain.
WHY WOULD a township care about what federal employees do? There are no federal employees working for DuPage Township.
- If you or I feel you cannot, or will not, take it seriously, and it is not handled properly, I can and will assist by personally escalating it to the National Security Division of the Department of Justice, and enclose this request and information on your response, or lack there of. I am aware of the processes that need to take place and how important it is. I hope it does not need to get escalated to that point.
WE ARE CERTAIN the National Security Division of the Department of Justice is waiting on pins and needles for your information on how little old DuPage Township provided public records. It will surely justify an investigation the likes of which this country has never seen before (excuse the sarcasm).
- I look forward to your update within 30 days of this letter. I can be reached at 630-xxx-xxxx with questions.
- Bonnie Kurowsk