Third Try for Documents Listing Mental Health Board Legal Expenses That Can Be Easily Shared with You

A couple of weeks ago on January 24th, I asked for the last two year’s legal expenses for the 708 Mental Health Board.

I asked that this information be provided by email, specifically writing, “Thanks for fulfilling this request via email.”

On January 30th, I was told that the Board had invoked an allowed additional five business days to get the information together.

I picked up a stack of legal fee documents on February 7th. I was told that the information was not available in an electronic format.

The stack of paper provided when documents concerning two years of legal fees were requested from the McHenry County 708 Mental Health Board.

The stack of paper provided when documents concerning two years of legal fees were requested from the McHenry County 708 Mental Health Board.

On February 8th, I asked for an emailed copy of the cover letter, which listed all of the legal expenses by date and vendor.

It arrived February 13th, but in a format which I could not copy and paste for you to read.

I have just sent the following email to the 708 Board:

“Given your board president’s statement that you are a transparent agency, let me re-phrase my request for an emailed copy of the transmittal letter accompanying your reply to my FOIA request for legal fees.

“I am looking for a version with a format that I can copy and paste into McHenry County Blog. From previous responses from other governments, I know that PDF can be made so that it can be copied or protected. You have not sent the version that allows it to be copied on a line by line basis.

“So, I request that the PDF copy you sent me be re-sent in an unlocked version or, my preference, that you send me the version that probably was typed into a Word document in the first place.

“Again, if you feel the need to consider this an FOIA request, please do so.”

The letter was 17 pages long and will probably bore most readers, but its contents will show you how much of your tax dollars are spent on legal fees by the Mental Health Board.

Today Kevin Craver has written a long article about Donna Kurtz’ Public Health Committee’s reappointment interview of 708 Board President Lee Ellis. It is well worth reading.

I found particularly interesting the uncertainty of the administrative expenses of the 708 Board–“from 8.7 percent of the budget in 2008 to 19 percent in 2012.”

Could money spent on this Mental Health Board building have been allocated to services for Developmentally Disabled people?

Could money spent on this Mental Health Board building have been allocated to services for Developmentally Disabled people?

Also of interest in the fact that money borrowed at interest rates subsidize by the Federal government’s stimulus program have to be paid back with local tax dollars as a result of “almost quadrupled[ly] the size of its Crystal Lake headquarters through $3 million in federal economic stimulus bonds it now is paying back.”


Comments

Third Try for Documents Listing Mental Health Board Legal Expenses That Can Be Easily Shared with You — 6 Comments

  1. I have two concerns:

    (1) what is the occupancy of the Family Services building above? and how much was Family Services subsidized for this? was there a loan for $900,000?

    (2) Could not recommend approval of the upcoming referendum in April to create a taxing body for services to individuals with developmental disabilites, because it is quite likely, once the tax was in place, we would have little control how these monies would be allocated; could very likely be mismanaged as was the Mental Health Board.

  2. Keep up the good work Cal.

    This hide and seek must stop.

    Its sad when basic information has to be FOIA’d.

    These are tax payer dollars for God’s sake and clearly the mental health board see’s them as entitlements.

    I’m sure you’ve seen the Northwest Herald article today.

    Support Tina Hill and her efforts to bring accountability as well as Donna Kurtz and Sandy Salgado.

    It is about time and if we all keep pushing, truth will be revealed!

  3. Thank you for consistently attempting to bring examples of the Mental Health Board’s attempts to hide information for their employers (that would be us the taxpayer).

    Tina Hill, Donna Kurtz, and Sandy Salgado are defintiely on the right track.

    I hope the other members of the PHHS committee excluding McCann (who clearly condones ignorance) value intelligence and accountability.

    Nothing less should be expected. Thanks Cal.

  4. The sad comment is that the building above is the new building of the Mental Health Board attached to the old one.

    The Family Services building is that 3 story one off Rt. 31.

    Clearly the powers to be spend a great deal of time attempting to hide information coming forth as evidenced by the FOIA tricks.

    Unacceptable operations at all levels and if it is going to be corrected, we need the constant vigilance of people like Cal Skinner, Mr. Cravers of the Northwest Herald, Tina Hill the new County Chair, her appointee Donna Kurth , Sandy Salgado and Paula Yensen.

    You have the backing of those that care and are willing to support your efforts now and in the long run.

    Enough of these games!

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