No Rule Against Fixing Private Vehicles in McHenry County Sheriff’s Garage

Over the years there have been reports of private cars having their oil changed and being repaired by McHenry County Sheriff’s Department personnel with the use of taxpayer-funded supplies. The name of a member of the County Board even came … Continue reading

Closing In on the Number Involved in McHenry County College Security Security Number Breach

As you might imagine, when I learned that McHenry County College software vendor Ellucian had sent Social Security numbers and other personal information to three junior colleges which MCC refused to identify (but you can discover here), I thought you … Continue reading

Suit Seeking to Force Keith Nygren to Follow Attorney General’s FOIA Recommendation to Release 100-Page Zinke DEA Report Delayed

First Electric Newspaper Editor Pete Gonigam filed a Freedom of Information request with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department seeking documents about the investigation of Undersheriff Andy Zinke’s telling someone whose firm was getting a delivery which was apparently subject of … Continue reading

A Look at Part of Johnsburg’s Freedom of Information Fight with Maggie Haney

The Village of Johnsburg posted a press release attacking Mary Haney and her husband for the cost of replying to Freedom of Information requests. It showed up a day after Haney, running for Village President against incumbent Ed Hettermann, delivered … Continue reading

708 Board Further Demonstrates Lack of Transparency in Refusal to Provide Legal Expenses in Searchable Format

For about a month I have been trying to obtain two years of legal expenses in a user-friend format for the McHenry County Mental Health Board (often called the “708 Board” because of the number of its authorization section in … Continue reading

Third Try for Documents Listing Mental Health Board Legal Expenses That Can Be Easily Shared with You

A couple of weeks ago on January 24th, I asked for the last two year’s legal expenses for the 708 Mental Health Board. I asked that this information be provided by email, specifically writing, “Thanks for fulfilling this request via … Continue reading

Crystal Lake Loses Precedent-Setting FOIA Ruling on Hiding High Salaried Employees’ Names

This past spring I asked various municipalities to provide emailed lists of their employees who made over $75,000 in salary and fringe benefits. Many complied with the names and compensation information. The City of Crystal Lake sent the information, but … Continue reading

One Reason the Teachers Retirement System Is in Trouble

I filed a Freedom of Information request with Illinois’ Downstate Teachers Retirement Fund. I came up dry and got a reply through an email. But, TRS also sent me a letter by Certified Mail I talked to them about it, … Continue reading

Spring Grove Refuses to Turn Over Andy Zinke’s Emailed Campaign Pitch

On night last week, I shot off 20-30 Freedom of Information requests for emails from announced McHenry County Sheriff candidate Andy Zinke. I’ve gotten a lot of replies. Today I received my first rejection. It was from the Village of … Continue reading

Crystal Lake Elementary School Doesn’t Know How Much Democrats’ Proposed Pension Shift from State to Real Estate Taxpayer Might Cost

I have to say I am disappointed that Crystal Lake District 47 has no idea of how much it might cost to shift the financing of teacher pensions from state taxpayers to local taxpayers. In a Freedom of Information Request, … Continue reading

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas Fails the Telephone Access Test

I see the mention of the Village of Barrington Hill’s failure to answer Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas’ request for debt information in Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune editorial. That failure was noticed and memorialized by The Barrington Hills Observer. On that … Continue reading

McHenry County Board Refuses to Reveal Applicants for Regional Superintendent of Education Post

The first time I asked, I had no problem getting applications from those applying for the vacant McHenry County Superintendent of Schools post. This is the elected official, you will recall, whose shoes have been filled by the Lake County … Continue reading

McHenry County College Won’t Reveal Management Faults

Most of what outside auditors do is pretty dry. Having served on the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission, I’ve read enough of them. The real interesting stuff is in the Management Letter. When I saw McHenry County College Board Agenda for … Continue reading

Don Harmon’s Idea of Reform for the Freedom of Information Act with Roll Calls

  Since many, many state legislators have held local public office first, I guess people shouldn’t be surprised when they forget that they are representing people in Springfield, not cities, villages, school districts, etc.   When the Northwest Municipal League … Continue reading

Citizens Ask District 155 to Reveal Teacher Contract Information

Chris Williams of  Grafton-Algonquin-Nunda-Dorr Community Advocates shares a request that Crystal Lake High School District 155 make public details of the most expensive part of the school budget–teacher salaries. It comes on the rejection of the following Freedom of Information … Continue reading

Metra Must Provide Barbara Pagano Benefits Correspondence

Metra has adamantly refused to release information to McHenry County Blog regarding efforts to reimburse the taxpayers for the money that former Executive Director Phil Pagano took without authorization. I’ve been trying to obtain such documents since September, 2010, and … Continue reading

Sheriff Loses Freedom of Information Appeal about SWAT Training for Eric Woods

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Department has lost an April 29, 2010, appeal filed by McHenry County Blog to obtain SWAT training records for Deputy Eric Woods. Under the decision, received yesterday from Assistant Public Access Counselor Matthew C. Rogina, the … Continue reading

Eleven Months after Winning Appellate Court Case Deputy Bob Schlenkert Remains Unpaid

Almost eleven months ago, McHenry County Deputy Sheriff Robert Schlinkert won an Appellate Court decision putting him back to work. The decision came just three days after oral arguments indicating the justices thought Schlinkert had a pretty good case. Periodically, … Continue reading

Tribune Seeks 4 Years of McHenry County Jail Booking Data

In addition to asking for the type of traffic stop data requested in former McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Zane Seipler’s wrongful termination case, Chicago Tribune reporter Joe Mahr wants to know three years of data concerning the booking of all … Continue reading

Four Years of Racial Profiling Instructions Requested by Tribune

Seeking four years of data, Chicago Tribune reporter Joe Mahr has filed a wide-ranging Freedom of Information request with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department. Whether this is part of a systematic comparison of arrest procedures through the Tribune’s circulation area … Continue reading