Algonquin Township Advised to Turn Over Township Hall Entrance Data for Clerk Karen Lukasik

In a fairly rapid–about a month–turnaround the Public Access Counselor of the Illinois Attorney General has advised Algonquin Township that it should turn over information about Township Clerk Karen Lukasik’s entrances in the Township Hall.

The Freedom of Information request was turned down because revelation of the information would put “elected officials at risk.”

September 28, 2018

Via electronic mail
Mr. Cal Skinner
275 Meridian Street
Crystal Lake, Illinois 60014
[email protected] com

Via electronic mail
Ms. Natalie Pesin
Matuszewich & Kelly, LLP
101 North Virginia Street, Suite 150
Crystal Lake, Illinois 60014
[email protected] law. com

RE: FOIA Request for Review — 2018 PAC 54625

Dear Mr. Skinner and Ms. Pesin:

This determination letter is issued pursuant to section 9. 5(0 of the Freedom of Information Act ( FOIA) (5 ILCS 140/ 9. 5(0 (West 2016)).

For the reasons that follow, the Public Access Bureau concludes that Algonquin Township (Township) improperly withheld information responsive to Mr. Cal Skinner’ s August 20, 2018, FOIA request. [Emphasis added.]

On that date, Mr. Skinner submitted a FOIA request to the Township seeking records showing Township Clerk Karen Lukasik’ s entry into the Township Hall and her office, as shown by records created from her key fob.

On August 27, 2018, the Township denied the request pursuant to section 7(1)( v) of FOIA (5 ILCS 140/ 7(1)( v) (West 2017 Supp.), as amended by Public Act 100-732, effective August 3, 2018).

On August 27, 2018, this office received Mr. Skinner’ s Request for Review contesting that denial.

On August 30, 2018, this office forwarded a copy of the Request for Review to the Township and asked it to provide a copy of the withheld records for this office’ s confidential review, together with a detailed explanation of the factual and legal bases for the applicability of the section 7(1)( v) exemption to those records.

On September 11, 2018, the Township provided a written response and a copy of the withheld records, which list the location of the door Ms. Lukasik entered and the date and time of her entries.

The Township’ s written response stated, in pertinent part:

The basis for denial was that the Township was concerned
about various security issues with releasing this information. The
known comings and goings of various elected officials puts those
elected officials at risk * * *. The key fob is a security measure of
the Township in that if something occurs at the Township
facilities, the Supervisor is able to trace who gained entry at that
time. These are security measures that the Township believes
should remain with the Township. FN 1

The Township provided additional information to this office on a confidential basis. FN2

= = = = =
FN 1 Letter from Natalie L. Pesin, Matuszewich & Kelly, LLP, to Leo Draws, Assistant Attorney General, Public Access Bureau ( September 11, 2018).
FN 2 This office is prohibited from disclosing that information in this determination. See 5 ILCS
140/ 9. 5( d) ( West 2016).
= = = = =

On September 12, 2018, this office forwarded a copy of the Township’ s non-confidential response letter to Mr. Skinner; he did not reply.

DETERMINATION

All records in the custody or possession of a public body are presumed to be open to inspection or copying.” 5 ILCS 140/ 1. 2 ( West 2016); see also Southern Illinoisan v. Illinois Dept. of Public Health, 218 Ill. 2d 390, 415 ( 2006).

A public body ” has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence” that a record is exempt from disclosure. 5 ILCS 140/ 1. 2 ( West 2016). Section 7( 1)( v) of FOIA exempts from disclosure:

Vulnerability assessments, security measures, and response
policies or plans that are designed to identify, prevent, or respond to
potential attacks upon a community’ s population or systems, facilities, or
installations, the destruction or contamination of which would constitute a
clear and present danger to the health or safety of the community, but only
to the extent that disclosure could reasonably be expected to jeopardize the
personnel who implement them or the public. Information exempt under
this item may include such things as details pertaining to the mobilization or deployment of personnel or equipment, to the operation of communication systems or protocols, or to tactical operations.

The Township’ s non-confidential response noted that the Township is currently involved in contentious litigation and asserted that disclosing the key fob records would endanger elected officials by revealing information about their schedules that could lead to stalking.

The Township provided additional information confidentially.

None of the information, however, provides clear and convincing evidence from which this office could conclude that the records are exempt from disclosure pursuant to section 7( 1)( v) of FOIA.

The Public Access Bureau has previously determined that merely disclosing information documenting when and where a specific individual swipes an access card, absent more information such as an access code, would not jeopardize the effectiveness of the system for the purposes of section 7( 1)( v), as the risk is speculative. See Ill. Att’ y Gen. PAC Req. Rev. Ltr. 42825, issued July 26, 2016, at 3.

The Township’ s assertion that releasing the requested records could lead to stalking also is speculative, as information regarding the comings and goings of Ms. Lukasik could be obtained by observation of the Township Hall.  [Emphasis added.]

Accordingly, this office concludes that the Township improperly denied the records under section 7( 1)( v) of FOIA.

This office also considered a separate reason and explanation for withholding the records that the Township provided confidentially.

While this office is prohibited from describing the Township’ s confidential reasoning, we conclude that it does not provide a valid basis for withholding the requested records.

In accordance with the conclusions in this letter, this office requests that the Township disclose the responsive records to Mr. Skinner.

The Public Access Counselor has determined that resolution of this matter does not require the issuance of a binding opinion.

If you have any questions, please contact me by phone at (217) 782- 1699.

This letter shall serve to close this matter.

Very truly yours,

LEO DRAWS
Assistant Attorney General
Public Access Bureau


Comments

Algonquin Township Advised to Turn Over Township Hall Entrance Data for Clerk Karen Lukasik — 11 Comments

  1. Pesin!

    One of Kelly’s trogs.

    She should be reported to the ARDC!

  2. Townships … Dens of Thieves!

    Here’s more proof —

    EAST ST. LOUIS

    For more than a year, East St. Louis Township paid Kelvin Ellis as a consultant, even though a federal judge had prohibited him from working for any government agency supported by public funds.

    In detailed, written monthly reports to his parole officer, Ellis admitted he was working at the township, according to court records. There, he would occasionally come into contact with other felons — a potential parole violation.

    But for more than a year, the Office of Probation at the U.S. District Court in East St. Louis apparently never noticed the order forbidding public employment by Ellis, 68.

    The former East St. Louis head of regulatory affairs was paroled in 2014 for tax evasion, obstruction and trying to have a witness killed. In a 2005 order, U.S. District Court judge and now chief judge Michael Reagan sentenced him to 10 years in prison and banned him from government employment during three years of supervised release or parole after his release. …

    In 2005, Ellis was convicted of tampering with a witness in connection with trying to have a woman murdered. Illinois State Police investigators had carried out a ruse showing a woman lying in mud at Horseshoe Lake. The faked photos helped convict Ellis.

    During his year of employment, Ellis earned more than $20,000 from the township. …

    The former township supervisor charged $230,000 on a public credit card over four years, according to a News-Democrat investigation in 2016 that led to an FBI probe and the eventual conviction of Hamilton. He often spent from $8,000 to as much as $10,000 in a single trip to a big box building supply store for items ranging from paint, tools, wood fixtures, cement, tractor tires and repairs on equipment stored at his company, Hamilton Construction.

    Read more here: https://www.bnd.com/news/local/article201754539.html#storylink=cpy

    Read more here: https://www.bnd.com/news/local/article201754539.html#storylink=cpy

    Read more here: https://www.bnd.com/news/local/article201754539.html#storylink=cpy

  3. Oh good, sounds like the big pink idiot is going to start another lawsuit.

    Just what we need.

  4. Steven

    Your comment defines stupidity.

    Cal made a lawful request.

    Lukasik and Kelly unlawfully denied it.

    Why: because it’s obvious that she collects a check for doing nothing.

    What’s her hourly rate?

    That would be very interesting and I bet you prefer keeping it in the club.

    Nevertheless to attack Andrew on this demonstrates that you are the fool.

  5. No Frank I’m not a fool.

    I am tired of all the clowns that are involved in the Algonquin township, including the big pink idiot.

    I voted for him and am severly disappointed.

    I will not make that mistake again.

    He is costing us just as much as Bob Miller did, instead of his own pocket it is going into the pockets of the attys.

    None of them can get along, none of them are interested in running the township but are more involved in running their petty little squabbles that do nothing but cost the tax payers money.

    And the correct spelling is Stephen which is on the post.

    So now who is stupid.

  6. Frank

    Gasser claims to be a christian man, yet he is more focused on revenge than anything.

    Fired employees without due process.

    Can’t get along with anyone on the board.

    What happen to “turn the other cheek” and “Revenge is mine sayeth the Lord”.

    Some christian, he is so focused on being “right” that he can’t see the forest through the trees. Hypocritical to the nth degree.

  7. If your going to call someone out on correct English, you should know it.
    Christians, capitalize the word.

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