SPRINGFIELD, IL. (ECWd) –
The Illinois Attorney General’s office was named defendant in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed today by the Edgar County Watchdogs, Inc.
From the Complaint:
- “NOW COMES Plaintiff, EDGAR COUNTY WATCHDOGS by the undersigned attorneys, Loevy & Loevy, and brings this Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit to force THE OFFICE OF THE ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL (“AG’S OFFICE”) to comply with FOIA. AG’S OFFICE has made an improper blanket assertion of FOIA’s exemption for interference with pending law enforcement investigations over records that pertain to the Illinois State Police’s investigation into the former Shelby County Sheriff regarding the sale of confiscated guns and other issues.”
- On December 6, 2021, ECW submitted a FOIA request to AG’S OFFICE for a “[c]opy of all reports, documents, audio/video recordings provided to the Attorney General by the Illinois State Police regarding the criminal investigation of the former Shelby County Sheriff’s Office involving illegal gun sales and payroll fraud. This matter was turned over to the AG for a charging decision over a year ago and considering there has been no further action taken nor any ongoing investigation, I am seeking all the records provided by the ISP as a result of their investigation.”
- On January 25, 2022, ECW denied AG’S OFFICE’s extension. On January 31, 2022, AG’S OFFICE denied the request in its entirety by citing Section 7(1)(d)(i) of FOIA
- AG’S OFFICE has not demonstrated that there is a “pending or actually and reasonably contemplated law enforcement proceeding” by AG’S OFFICE
- Further, even if there is a pending or actually and reasonably contemplated law enforcement proceeding, which AG’S OFFICE failed to show, AG’S OFFICE has not shown how the disclosure of the requested records would “interfere with pending or actually reasonably contemplated law enforcement proceedings conducted by” the “law enforcement agency that is the recipient of the request.”