FOIA

Flickr user EXETERANNA / (CC x 2.0)

A college professor who performed his own audit of how local governments in Illinois handle Freedom of Information requests says the results were better than expected. Still, there is plenty of room for improvement.

Overall, local agencies did a good job at providing public records. But there is some bad news. They too often failed to post details on how to petitition for those documents and have a trained F-O-I officer.    

Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

The DeKalb County government employees got some insight Thursday night into how to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act. These rules are invoked frequently when the actions of area governments and other public bodies come under scrutiny.

Leah Bartelt of the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Bureau offered an in-depth explanation of the state’s FOIA and OMA rules. 

The Illinois Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Illinois High School Association has no obligation to release internal documents.  

The watchdog Better Government Association wanted to get records from the IHSA (which organizes high school athletic tournaments) on its sponsorship deals with the likes of Gatorade and Nike. To this end, it filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act, which  is supposed to make sure anyone can get documents, memos, and even emails from a government body. However, the court treats IHSA as a private non-profit organization.

CREDIT "COURTROOM ONE GAVEL" BY FLICKR USER BETH CORTEZ-NEAVEL / (CC BY 2.0)

An Illinois appellate court has ruled that the College of DuPage Foundation is subject to the state's open records law and ordered it to turn over a federal subpoena requested by the Chicago Tribune.

The Tribune reports that the unanimous decision marks the first time an Illinois higher court has ruled in favor of releasing records in possession of a public college's fundraising organization.

The ruling upholds an earlier ruling by a DuPage County Circuit Court judge.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

An Illinois watchdog group takes a case against the Illinois High School Association to the state's highest court Tuesday. That’s regarding whether IHSA is subject to the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

Flickr user Ryo Chijiiwa / "Tommy Guns" (CC BY 2.0)

In the wake of the recent mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub, an Illinois legislator has a plan he says is a new path to keeping firearms from terrorists.

    

A plan before Congress seeks to ban anyone on the terrorism watch list from being able to buy a gun.

The proposal just introduced by Illinois State Representative Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat, takes another tack.

It would essentially prevent anyone charged with making a terrorist threat from having gun.

McHenry Sheriff / First Electronic Newspaper / McHenry County Blog

A McHenry County newspaper won a five-figure settlement against the sheriff's office over a Freedom of Information Act violation. 

On top of a $5,000 civic penalty, Judge Thomas Meyer ruled the McHenry County Sheriff's office has to pay about $80,000 in attorneys fees for First Electronic Newspaper publisher Pete Gonigam's lawyer. 

Brandy Quance is the assistant state's attorney in McHenry County who represented the sheriff's office in the case. She said the ruling was based on another disclosure of information in the report. 

twitter.com/stevesalaita

A professor whose job offer was rescinded by the University of Illinois is suing the school. Steven Salaita’s anti-Israel comments didn’t sit well with U of I trustees.

Salaita claims the University stonewalled attempts to access emails sent to and from key administrative figures regarding pressure from the school’s donors and the Board of Trustees.

The professor claims the University has violated Illinois' Freedom of Information Act by not providing the requested emails, claiming the inquiry "unduly burdensome."

Court sides with news media in FOIA ruling

Jun 12, 2012

A court ruling has been issued in connection with Illinois' Freedom of Information Act. At question is whether text messages city council members send each other during open meetings are public record. A judge says they are.