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

Judge Meyer Rules Nygren & Leist Get Attorney for Zinke DEA Investigation Report Case

Judge Thomas Meyer ruled Friday morning that McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren and his legal affairs officer Don Leist will have an appointed attorney to represent them in The First Electric Newspaper‘s suit to make public an over 100-page investigatory … 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

McHenry County College Refuses to Tell How Many Social Security Numbers Were Compromised

A while ago, I filed a Freedom of Information request with McHenry County College with regard to the security breach by software vendor Ellucian. Among other things, I asked for documents that would tell how many student and employee records … Continue reading

Reply to Freedom of Information Request for Authorization to Use Sheriff’s Office Email Account for Campaign Purposes

Ten days ago, I filed a Freedom of Information request with the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department asking the following question: “Under the FOIA I request all documents that authorize Andy Zinke to use his official email for campaign purposes.” The … 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

Citizens/Media Can Get Public Officials’ Arrest Records

Our family went to Galena mid-week and, besides seeing skiers on Spring Break for the first time at Chestnut Ridge, I found a press release from the Public Access Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. It was in The … 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