Attorney General Public Access Division Asks County Government to Justify Lack of Response to Freedom of Information Request

After the Illinois Attorney General’s Office confirmed that McHenry County Blog was a member of the “news media” under the Freedom of Information Act, I filed a request with McHenry County. I asked for “copies of all work product for the … Continue reading

Attorney General Rules McHenry County Blog “News Media” for Purposes of Freedom of Information Requests

The Public Access Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office has ruled that McHenry County Blog is to be considered “media” under the Freedom of Information Act. McHenry County Blog is now the only blog in Illinois certified as a … Continue reading

BGA Goes After Information from Taxpayer Financed Not-for-Profits

Way back in the 1970’s I introduced a bill that would have allowed the Freedom of Information Act to apply to non-profit organizations that received the majority of their funding from tax money. The Daily Herald thought it was a … Continue reading

Text of the Overturning of Jack Franks’ FOIA Denial of His Inaugural Speech

Here is the latest evidence that McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks is not living up to his promise to be transparent.  (Sentences in paragraphs have been separated to make them easier to read.) ATTORNEY GENERAL March 23, 2017 Via … Continue reading

Franks Loses Second Freedom of Information Request Denial Appeal

For the second time since he has taken office as McHenry County Board Chairman, a Jack Franks’ denial of a Freedom of Information request from McHenry County Blog has been overturned. The first sentence of the latest missive from the … Continue reading

Opinions Cited by Jack Franks Freedom of Information Officer to Justify that McHenry County Blog Is Not Part of the News Media

Below are three of the opinions cited by Jack Franks’ Freedom of Information Officer to justify the assertion that McHenry County Blog is not part of the news media. The first is dated February 13, 2015. The second is dated … Continue reading

McHenry County Under Jack Franks Denies McHenry County Blog Part of News Media

According to a statement filed with the Public Access Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, McHenry County Blog is not a member of the media. You can read the reply to the Public Access Counselor’s request below: The letter … Continue reading

Transparency – Following the Money

The Chicago Sun-Times ran an article yesterday that took three years to write. It was about how UNO, the charter school outfit backed by House Speaker Mike Madigan, spent money provided by governments. Since UNO doesn’t operate in our back … Continue reading

Payment for Zinke FOI Case Near

When former Sheriff Keith Nygren refused to release his report exonerating his Undersheriff Andy Zinke in his dealings with an executive of Rita Corporation, First Electric Newspaper Publisher Pete Gonigam took him to court. Gonigam had an Illinois Attorney General’s … Continue reading

First Electric Newspaper Awarded $5,000 for Sheriff Keith Nygren’s FOIA Violation

As I pointed out earlier, First Electric Newspaper’s Pete Gonigam’s article of Judge Thomas Meyer’s ruling in his Freedom of Information Suit against Keith Nygren’s Sheriff’s Office is a must read. Gonigam is in line for a $5,000 check from … Continue reading

Zinke Exoneration Summary Reported by First Electric Newspaper

The First Electric Newspaper’s Editor, Pete Gonigam, got half a loaf in response to this Freedom of Information request and suit yesterday. Gonigam sought a report prepared by Donald Leist about an “investigation clearing former Undersheriff Andy Zinke of violating … Continue reading

Althoff Comments on FOIA Modification Bill She Sponsored

From State Senator Pam Althoff: In response to recent e-mails and phone calls I have received regarding my yes vote on House Bill 3796, I would like to explain why this legislation, will in fact, increase access to public records … Continue reading

Chicago Police Department Reticent to Provide Misbehaving Officer’s Photo

When the neighbor across the way from the castle in Fox River Grove got irritated by people parking on the street, she turned to a neighbor from Boone County’s Candlewick Lake subdivision for help. The neighbor jotted down the license … Continue reading

Nunda Township Road Commissioner Hiding Audit of Senior Bus Services

McHenry County Auditor Pam Palmer conducted an audit of the grant to the Nunda Township Road Commissioner for Senior Bus Service. Since County government was responsible for awarding the money, it seems appropriate that the Auditor should see if it … Continue reading

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

Sheriff Has No Policy about Who Can Fill Up at County Expense

There have been reports that vehicle appearing not to be owned by McHenry County have been filling their tanks at the Sheriff’s Department filling station. I decided to ask if there were any policy concerning fill-ups: “Under the FOIA, I … Continue reading

Bianchi to Represent Nygren in Zinke Exoneration Freedom of Information Case

That was my takeaway from the hearing in Judge Thomas Meyer’s courtroom today. To put it in terms contained in the law book and an Illinois Supreme Court ruling, the lawyer for the Sheriff’s Department is the State’s Attorney. The … Continue reading