The following is republished from Illinois Leaks with its permission:
Algonquin Township attempts censoring Watchdogs –
When the rights of the people to petition their government for redress are met with fierce opposition by the very institutions whose livelihood is dependent upon that right, we find ourselves in the unenviable position of taking up the pen and paper to ensure truth is available for those who wish to read.
Algonquin Township Board of Trustees attempted to censor the Edgar County Watchdogs by demanding that YouTube remove a video we published on January 15, 2018.
These people have no business being in public office for their shameful attempts at censoring.
This is clearly attempted censorship, clearly attempted civil rights violations, and attorney James Kelly and the entire Board of Trustees should issue a written apology, along with a Resolution to never censor, nor attempt to censor, anyone ever again.
We uncovered this censorship only after reviewing Kelly’s invoices which the Township Board voted to pay.
The Township Board paid this legal bill = used your tax money to pay their attorney to censor the media (let that one sink in).
From James Kelly’s legal Invoices (pages 20 and 27):
- March 15, 2018 – Kelly bills AT for: re: FOIA, research re: YouTube legal, drafting letter to YouTube
- April 4, 2018 – Kelly bills AT for: RE: FOIA, receipt and review letter from YouTube, drafting of response to YouTube
- April 5, 2018 – Kelly bills AT for: receipt and review email from YouTube, respond to email from YouTube
On March 16, 2018, Attorney James Kelly sent this to YouTube:
RE: Demand to Remove or Take Down Video
Algonquin Audio Boosted – Nest Camera – YouTube
“The video that has been uploaded to your site is in direct violation of the court orders and violates certain privacy rights. This video must be taken down immediately. Failure to take down this video is in violation of the court orders and appropriate steps will be taken to ensure compliance with said court orders.?
We assume YouTube told them what they could do with their take-down demand as the video is still up on YouTube.
The video we posted was not subject to any court order, and even if it was, it cannot be compelled to be removed.
This is the article (here) with the video the township tried censoring (Video below). In this video, you will see what is alleged to be Algonquin Township Clerk Lukasik and Jennifer Curtiss (Trustee at Village of Fox River Grove) removing records from an office, rifling thru paperwork on the desk, taking photos of some documents, and the clerk declaring that she can “do whatever I want” since she is the clerk, Jennifer tells Lukasik she is going thru Ryan’s stuff and Lukasik replies “I don’t give a shit”, calls transparency a joke – and then responds to a FOIA request for those photos by saying that none exist (this is part of the FOIA lawsuit):
Part of the FOIA lawsuit we have against Algonquin Township includes requests for communications with YouTube, which the township never responded to. We received this letter from another source, but there are at least two more communications with YouTube still missing.
There were attachments to the letter including two court orders. One is below. The other can be found here.