First posted on Illinois Leaks, this is re-printed with permission:
Algonquin Township- The Clerk, the Attorney, and Bob Miller have some explaining to do.
For starters, I once again ask that the Clerk do the citizens of Algonquin Township a favor and resign.
The Freedom of Information Act is not that hard to understand nor comply with and you don’t need a lawyer for either unless your Karen Lukasik.
I requested a copy of the PowerPoint Presentation reviewed and drafted by an attorney for the law firm.
In true to form fashion, the law firm responds for Lukasik and tells me they have no records responsive to this request.
One can only wonder why the taxpayers have to pay for an attorney to respond to this request but I digress, I’m glad they did in this case.
I asked for the PowerPoint because the taxpayers were charged and paid for the review and drafting of the PowerPoint Presentation.
I guess Lukasik and their attorney failed to understand section 7(k)(2) of the FOI Act. –
“(2) A public record that is not in the possession of a public body but is in the possession of a party with whom the agency has contracted to perform a governmental function on behalf of the public body, and that directly relates to the governmental function and is not otherwise exempt under this Act, shall be considered a public record of the public body, for purposes of this Act.”
We know the record is not in the possession of the public body based on the response.
The next question is who does possess a copy of this public record?
Considering the law firm was paid to review and draft this particular electronic presentation, it appears the public body should have obtained a copy from the party whom they contracted with, the law firm.
There was no indication from the law firm letter that they were even asked for the record.
The only way this particular document would not be subject to our FOIA request is if it was not prepared on behalf of the public body, but rather some other private Association entity that Bob Miller was involved in.
If that is the case, then why was the Road District Billed for this PowerPoint Presentation?
Is this a case where we are identifying a public body paying an attorney to draft a presentation for a non-public body?
Is this a case where a law firm has billed a public body for a reviewing and drafting a presentation but has no record of it?
I ask those questions because the billing dates from the attorney are about a week after communication seeking Miller to speak on Township Consolidation and/or elimination.
That request was from the Northwest Illinois Highway Commissioners Association.
Our bet is Miller passed that off to Kelly to handle.
Once we obtain a copy of this presentation we will all know the truth.