At the request of Deputy County Administrator John Labjai (now retired), McHenry County Auditor Pam Palmer performed an audit on Nunda Township’s senior bus program.
It was financed with a grant administered by McHenry County. Federal and state money was involved.
I filed a Freedom of Information request on April 23rd of this year.
A denial came llickety split from the Nunda Township Road Commissioner on April 25th a two day turnaround.
I appealed the refusal of newly-elected Nunda Township Road Commissioner Mike Lesperance to the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Division.
On August 20th, Assistant Attorney General Dushyanth Reddivari rendered a decision in my favor.
The Assistant Attorney General quotes Section 7(1)(m) of the Freedom of Information Act, the part that Nunda Township used to seek exemption from disclosure:
Communications between a public body and an attorney or auditor representing the public body that would not be subject to discover in litigation, and materials prepared or compiled by or for a public body in anticipation of a criminal, civil or administrative proceeding upon the request of an attorney advising the public body, and materials prepared or compiled with respect to internal audits of public bodies. (Emphasis added.)
The opinion continues:
“The district is not a part of McHenry County, and it has not asserted it is represented by the County’s auditor.
“Moreover, an ‘internal audit’ is defined as “[a]n audit performed by an organization’s personnel to ensure that internal procedures, operations, and accounting practices are in proper order[.] Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed.)…(Emphasis added.)
“The requested audit was conducted by an auditor for McHenry County for the purpose of determining whether the District’s program meets the requirements for receipt of senior services grant funding.
“Therefore it does not constitute an ‘internal audit.”
“Accordingly, we conclude the Districts has not sustained it burden of proving that the audit is exempt from disclosure pursuant to 7(1)(m).”