I filed a Freedom of Information Request for
“any subpoenas that have been served on any Alg Twp Official.”
On June 29th, McHenry County Blog published Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik’s reply:
“Your request is denied pursuant to 5 ILCS 140/7 (1) (a) because the request is for information specifically prohibited from disclosure by State law.”
I thought the reference to the FOIA meant subpoenas were exempt from disclosure, but commenter Mark, a prodigious researcher, pointed me to a May 9, 2017, Chicago Tribune article which had these paragraphs:
“In a groundbreaking decision, an Illinois appellate court Tuesday Ruled the College of DuPage Foundation is subject to the state’s open records law and ordered that it turn over a federal subpoena the Tribune requested under the Freedom of Information Act.”
“In March 2016, Gibson ruled that the foundation is subject to open records requests because it conducts government business and that the subpoena is a public document.”
Referencing that article, I appealed Algonquin Township’s denial. My email is below:
Please consider this an appeal to the denial for “any subpoenas that have been served on any Alg Twp Official.”
I am inspired to make this appeal by the court decision written about in the Tribune article linked below:
Yesterday afternoon, the Public Access Counselor of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office wrote Algonquin Township Clerk Karen Lukasik the following:
“The Public Access Bureau has received the attached Request for Review of the response by Algonquin Township ( Township) to a Freedom of Information Act ( FOIA) request submitted by Mr. Cal Skinner.
“We have determined that further action is warranted.
“On June 26, 2017, Mr. Skinner submitted a FOIA request to the Township seeking copies of any subpoenas served on any Township officials.
“On June 28, 2017, the Township denied the request in its entirety pursuant to section 7( 1)( a) of FOIA ( 5 ILCS 140/ 7( 1)( a) ( West 2016)), stating that ” the request is for information specifically prohibited from disclosure by State law[,] but the Township did not cite any such State law.
“On June 29, 2017, Mr. Skinner submitted the above-captioned Request for Review contesting the Township’s denial.
“As required under section 9. 5( c) of FOIA (5 ILCS 140/ 9. 5(c) ( West 2014)), please provide this office with unredacted copies of the records responsive to Mr. Skinner’ s request for this office’s confidential review, together with a detailed explanation of the factual and legal bases for withholding them pursuant to FOIA.
“This information must be submitted to our office within seven (7) business days after receipt of this letter. Under FOIA, “[t]he Public Access Counselor shall forward a copy of the answer to the person submitting the request for review, with any alleged confidential information to which the request pertains redacted from the copy.
“If you claim that any portion of your written response is confidential, please send two versions of your response letter: a complete copy for this office’ s confidential review and a redacted version suitable for this office to forward to the requester.” [Emphasis in the original.]