Caseyville, Ill. (ECWd) –
This is a clear example of the pitfalls of a public body only being required to provide public records under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) and not being required to answer questions.
Answering a simple question like: “Who owns the 1996 F Super Duty the village paid more than $3057 to replace a transmission in, according to the invoice and village check?” would have prevented the village from spending many hours answering various FOIA requests and prevented paying the village attorney many hours to deflect any attempt at finding the answer through public records requests.
To the story:
Public records show that an invoice to replace the transmission on a 1996 F Super Duty from Marshall’s Automatic Transmission Service was sent to the Village of Caseyville. The invoice amount was $3057.09 and dated July 18, 2022.
Public records also show a check from Caseyville for that exact amount was tendered to pay the invoice.
Our databases of local government vehicles for 2022 and 2023 do not show the village of Caseyville as the owner of a 1996 F Super Duty, and neither does the FOIA response from the village.
The Illinois State Police did conduct a cursory investigation but did not locate the 1996 F Super Duty and the vendor insisted it was a village vehicle but could not provide any evidence. The investigator didn’t even demand the city produce the vehicle in question and made no attempt to verify the vehicle belonged to the village. The investigator only attempted to find out if it did not belong to the village and concluded the investigation by not finding anything.
Who owns the vehicle?