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May 25, 2024

Illinois State Police FOIA – $20,622.93

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On May 4, 2024

Shelby Co. (ECWd) –

After the Attorney General’s office chose to not pursue any criminal charges in the illegal sale of seized firearms by the former Sheriff Don Koonce, we requested all the investigation files to include the taped interviews so that we could try to understand how a law enforcement officer selling seized guns to himself and his employees resulted in zero action being taken by the Attorney General.

That request resulted in our filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Illinois State Police, (ISP) who refused to provide the recordings, even though they had in multiple past requests for investigation recordings.  As covered in these articles, it was apparent after listening to the actual interviews the stories were not adding up and there was zero follow-up to validate what the ISP was told by the parties involved.

The ISP lost their attempts in court to suppress the recorded interviews and now there is closure to our FOIA case through an agreed settlement for our attorney fees of $20,622.93.  For the record, not one penny of that goes to our organization.

This is not the first time ISP has had to fork out funds due to non-compliance with our state transparency law known as the Freedom of Information Act. As in all cases, it is the taxpayers who take the hit.  It appears from past practice that the ISP do not care if they comply with FOIA, whether our request or others, they have become one of the most notable public agencies who routinely fail to comply.  Dolton, Illinois might be worse.

For those who face FOIA request issues with public bodies in this state, we urge the following steps.

  • If the response from the public body is not compliant with the law, reach out to the public body’s legal representative to first try to resolve the matter. This often avoids further burden placed on the Attorney General Public Access Counselor’s office.
  • Ask the Attorney General PAC office for a request for review.  This typically triggers further inquiry that often ends back in the lap of the public body’s legal representative to deal with.  This is why we urge trying to resolve it through the public body’s legal representative before going to the PAC.
  • You have the right to file a complaint in the circuit court for relief.  There are attorneys more than willing to take on these types of cases because of the fee provision in the law.  While this step does cost taxpayers, it seems to be the only way to drive the message home that the people’s records belong to the people and can not be improperly withheld.

 

 

 

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9 Comments
  • Sherry Brianza
    Posted at 20:59h, 04 May Reply

    Very disappointing to read that the state police dept in this area is not following proper procedures & then it costs the taxpayers for the bad behavior? Why withhold the public information- what’s to hide?? Curious to see what turns up. Thanks again for all your efforts to find truth.

  • Jeff Wallace
    Posted at 21:20h, 04 May Reply

    Great work !

  • Brian K Anderson
    Posted at 11:44h, 05 May Reply

    ISP doesn’t seem to have a very good track record of presenting cases to AG which reach the level of pursuing criminal charges when it comes to public officials.

  • Kurt Boglr
    Posted at 12:32h, 05 May Reply

    The Illinois state police is a BADFAITH ORGANIZATION! Charged with protecting our civil rights their doing everything they can to destroy them. If ever a whole organization should be sent to prison it’s the Illinois state police! Im a Humanitarian, a kindred spirit. They labeled me a danger to myself and others and stole my gun collection $100,000.00 The state police have become the biggest thieves of firearms in this country. There is no line between law enforcement and criminality, because the cops are criminals. Not kidding.

  • DB
    Posted at 14:29h, 05 May Reply

    As much as I would love to lash out at the sheer bad direction the investigative decisions that were made took the fraternity deeper into the realm of muck and shit they caught themselves up in without a rope or safety line to pull themselves from. I still stand firm to have their back because a brotherhood is about those brothers safety and well being.. In turn I believe that’s where they got lost though because with all that in mind. Healthy and honest leadership needs to be the solid never waiver ING barrier and constant reminder that the UNIT’s entirety and purposeful mission is to protect and serve the populous and be the beacon of trust and integrity!!! Shit happens we’ve all had it wrong once or twice learn from it to do and be better!!!

    • Droopy: Master Sergeant
      Posted at 05:45h, 06 May Reply

      Once or twice is laughable. They got it wrong at least twice in Shelby county alone. No excuse for protecting a sheriff who has no regard for the law or the people he is sworn to serve. Again, self serving at its best.

  • Droopy: Master Sergeant
    Posted at 18:45h, 05 May Reply

    Pathetic that good cops won’t cross the thin blue line to protect those they take an oath to serve! No character or integrity when they choose to protect corrupt cops because they are “family”.

    Is it any wonder our society is where it is? Maybe cops should start earning respect and hold their own accountable. Then again, why would they when AGs like Raoul will protect them. Life is much easier when you side with corruption.

    • Greg
      Posted at 11:19h, 08 May Reply

      Rock the boat at ISP and you will be working midnights on the Dan Ryan! It’s alway been the good ole boys show at ISP!

      I have a lot of respect for the Road Dogs but the higher you go the stinkier it gets! We used to have Cops running the ISP now it’s patronage hacks and politicians in charge.

      Most of these folks never did any real police work and would have no idea whats its like working on the road. God Bless our troopers.

  • Jack Tarleton
    Posted at 16:43h, 08 May Reply

    You nailed it Greg. The vast majority of line cops are good people who signed up to serve and protect the public. A minority are politicians, short-cut takers, and all around bullies who get a kick out of flashing a badge and a gun. Unfortunately, the politicians and bullies too often are the ones who get promoted.

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