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May 29, 2024

Coles County Board of Review – FOIA Triggers Compliance With Open Meetings Act

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On December 12, 2022

Coles Co. (ECWd) –

Once again, a simple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request has triggered compliance with the Open Meetings Act (OMA).

We requested the OMA training certificates for the Coles County Board of Review on December 5, 2022.  We requested those records because we found rules the board adopted for the board of review which violate the Open Meetings Act.

We received the three board members’ training certificates today.  The dates on the certificates are all after the date of my FOIA request, which indicates the request did in fact trigger compliance with the law.  (Copies of the certificates are at this link)

  • Matt Frederick – Complied with the required training on December 9, 2022
  • Herald Herman – COmplied with the required training on December 8, 2022
  • Daniel Lawrence – Complied with the required training on December 8., 2022

The OMA requires the training to be done within 90 days of taking office as found at this link.  All three have been on the board well beyond the 90 day time frame for compliance.

Now that they have taken the required training we will see if they amend their adopted rules to conform with the Open Meetings Act.



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1 Comment
  • B Cox
    Posted at 07:10h, 20 December Reply

    It would seem prudent that, because of the scope of ignorance in how to run local governments, there should be a training program to insure that newly elected officials know the laws they are about to accept. It’s apparent they do not initiate this endeavor voluntarily resulting in being led into the trap of breaking the law.

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