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October 7, 2022

IL. Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor; Opinions –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 19, 2022

ILLINOIS (ECWd) –

Just a friendly reminder out there to local governments and public officials:

The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor has all of its Binding Opinions since 2010 listed on its new website in separate documents for the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) and the Open Meetings Act (“OMA”).

  • Index of FOIA Binding Opinions (here)
  • Index of OMA Binding Opinions (here)
  • FOIA Guide for Law Enforcement Records (includes opinions) (here)

For instance, here is an opinion found that states that police reports and arrest records of public officials are public records subject to FOIA (here); another one indicates that private email accounts, even on private devices are subject to FOIA when they are used to conduct public business (here); an opinion stating that secret ballots during public meetings are prohibited (here); and also that a public body must sufficiently inform the public of what they are about to vote on (here). There are many more.

This is a start for individuals wishing to learn more about the FOIA and OMA, and which information and actions are impermissible.

Other information to research is nonbinding opinions (found online or through FOIA requests to the AG’s office) and court cases (found online).

A separate division of the Attorney General’s Office, the Opinions Bureau, has numerous opinions since 1971 listed (here), however, there are many opinions issued that are not listed.

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4 Comments
  • Dave
    Posted at 21:32h, 19 August Reply

    Awesome, thanks Dogs!

  • Jeff Savoie
    Posted at 12:39h, 20 August Reply

    How come we are not hearing anything about, what should be a huge scandal in Iroquois County?

    The Health Department paying large amounts of overtime without documentation.
    The Iroquois County Board doing the same

    The lack of oversight and prosecution wreaks.

    How does someone get paid overtime when playing gambling machines on regular time?

  • Droopy: Master Sergeant
    Posted at 16:52h, 20 August Reply

    Many elected officials would do themselves right by just spending a little time reading and educating themselves. Maybe just maybe Illinois would turn around!

  • James Miller
    Posted at 15:59h, 22 August Reply

    There is alot more going on in shelby county that is more serious than any of these issues involving sherriff department kidnapping organized crime attorney payoffs that i have documents to prove and to expose those who act above the law

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