Saturday afternoon at the Nunda Township Republican Picnic, I asked McHenry County Auditor Pam Palmer if she had gotten the Freedom of Information request that I sent just before closing.
She was on top it.
She said she didn’t have any bills that Special Prosecutor Henry Tonigan had submitted, but did have the court order.
So, I expected to receive a copy of the court order that had been denied by the County Board.
But I didn’t.
Here’s Palmer reply:
Per your Freedom of Information Request received by my office on Friday, September 24, 2010, specifically requesting all “documents submitted to justify any payments to Special Prosecutor Henry Tonigan, his staff and consultants”, I am denying this information request based upon the following:
Reason for denial: All documents requested are subject to the ongoing investigation exemption and the case seal.
Statutory Reference for Exemption Claimed: Freedom of Information Act 5 ILCS 140/7(1)(c)(viii)
I’ll give her credit for promptness in her reply. Less than one working day.
But, our County Board and our County Auditor are unwilling to show us how much documentation was received that resulted in the payment of tens of thousands of dollars to lawyers and, presumably, their consultants.
Having spent more of my life income on attorneys’ fees than any other category, I can tell you I have never paid a legal bill that was not itemized.
Wouldn’t you think someone in county government would realize that the days of
went out with Jimmy Carter’s failed presidency?
We are even past the
Trust, but verify
approach of President Ronald Reagan.
Today, we should be verifying before we pay.
And trusting taxpayers enough to show them what the bill is for beyond the indictments issued by the grand jury…which is still in session.