McLean Co., Ill. (ECWd) –
The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor has issued a determination stating the Executive Committee of the McLean County Board violated the Open Meetings Act (“OMA”) by prohibiting a person from speaking during public comment at their November 13, 2023 meeting.
Apparently, McLean County has a public speaking policy requiring individuals to “register” at least 24 hours in advance of a meeting.
The board was represented in this Request for Review by the Assistance McLean County State’s Attorney, who argued that the board did not restrict her right to speak – even though they did not permit her to speak.
Additionally, the county argued she could have attended the meeting and had a board member ask her to speak – but the PAC stated that would be unreasonable and leave room other board members to object.
The PAC determined this board rule was violative of the OMA and requested the board review and make changes necessary to permit the public’s statutory right to speak at public meetings.
This is simply another example of the fact that local rules and ordinances do not trump state laws nor the constitution, and state laws do not trump the constitution.
Read the determination below:PAC 78964 Determination Let_Redacted