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July 6, 2022

AG: Rochester Fire Protection District Violated Open Meetings Act –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 24, 2021

Rochester, IL. (ECWd) –

The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor has issued a determination stating the Rochester Fire Protection District violated the Open Meetings Act when it “improperly discusses matters that were outside the scope of the exception on which it relied to close a portion of its April 1, 2021, meeting” and also when it voted on an agenda item that did not adequately inform the public of the item to be voted upon.

From the determination:

  • Based on our review of the closed session minutes and the audio recording of the closed session, the discussion centered on a policy disagreement about the interactions between Board members and employees of the District in general. This discussion did not concern the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of any individual employee. Because the scope of section 2(c)(1) is limited to discussions of certain matters directly concerning individual employees, this office concludes that the Board violated OMA by discussing a policy matter that applies broadly to the District’s employees.
  • Because the agenda item [Discussion/Action regarding personnel matter discussed in closed session] did not identify the general subject matter of the policy concerning interactions between Board members and employees, the Board failed to provide sufficient advance notice of its vote. Because the scope of section 2(c)(1) is limited to discussions of certain matters directly concerning individual employees,4 this office concludes that the Board violated OMA by discussing a policy matter that applies broadly to the District’s employees.
  • Accordingly, this office concludes that the Board violated section 2.02(c) of OMA because the April 1, 2021, meeting agenda did not include the general subject matter of the change to personnel policy.
ROCHESTER FPD-C-0028 o 2c1 improper 202 notice improper fd_Redacted

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1 Comment
  • PK
    Posted at 19:35h, 24 October

    Here, the AG’s office is addressing the same lawyer/lawfirm that; while being investigated for self-dealing, the former chief informed ISP investigators that the lawyer said to say [it] was an oversight.

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