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April 14, 2024

17 News Organizations File Amicus Supporting Edgar County Watchdogs in IL. Supreme Court FOIA Appeal –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 11, 2023

Illinois (ECWd) –

Our attorneys for this case, Loevy and Loevy, filed our petition for leave to appeal the Edgar County Watchdogs v. Will County Sheriff FOIA case to the Illinois Supreme Court a few days ago, and we are pleased that 17 news organizations have filed a motion for proposed joint amicus to the Supreme Court in support of our FOIA case attempting to gain access to certain 911 calls related to a township park in Wesley Township in Will County.

Wesley Township is the township where a former trustee admitted in writing to charging an (unlawful) fee to use the park in order “to keep the park from being overrun by Blacks and Mexicans.” We believed this township had started using 911 calls and the county sheriff to intimidate its residents who frequented the park and were attempting to create a list of people to ban from the park (through their use of the 911 system), by a township trustee masquerading as a “Park Ranger” – a position that does not exist in Illinois Township government.

History of this FOIA case: The Circuit Court agreed with us, the Appellate Court agreed with us, then the Will County Sheriff asked for a  rehearing, and the Appellate Court reversed course and agreed with Will County.

The amici are: The Associated Press, Better Government Association, Chicago Public Media, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune Company LLC, Illinois Broadcasters Association, Illinois Press Association, Injustice Watch, The Media Institute, National Freedom of Information Coalition, National Press Club Journalism Institute, The National Press Club, National Press Photographers Association, News/Media Alliance, Pro Publica, Inc., Society of Professional Journalists, and the Tully Center for Free Speech.

Please see the Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press‘ article for more information (here).

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2 Comments
  • Kathiann
    Posted at 12:33h, 12 August

    I have been told that 911 calls are exempt from FOIA, (at least when I asked for the information) but anything claimed as being exempt these days seems to end up being used to hide something they don’t want out there. Local governing bodies sometimes take lots of liberties with the statutes and appear to just be “winging it”.. Good going, guys

  • Bob Anderson
    Posted at 07:49h, 15 August

    It should be a priority of Illinois lawmakers to abolish township government, which is a Political-Tar-Pit of Corruption, Cronyism, Nepotism, Patronage and Property Tax Waste!

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