Sheriff’s Department Freedom of Information Games

It was the discovery of more marijuana growing in the Hebron area in a press release issued by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department that reminded me of the August 2008 and August 2009 discoveries of three pot fields, some of … Continue reading

First Electric Newspaper Learns Undersheriff Andy Zinke Misconduct Exoneration Made by Campaign Supporter Sheriff Keith Nygren

When the announcement was made to the Northwest Herald that Underheriff Andy Zinke had been cleared of wrongdoing when he told a subject about a Drug Enforcement Administration probe, it sounded more than a little fishy. Pete Gonigam, who publishes … Continue reading

McHenry County College Explains Why Health & Fitness Club Study Is Top Secret, Hush, Hush

Woodstock attorney Jane Collins wondered what backed up the power point presentation (see Part 1 and Part 2) given to the McHenry County College Board about the proposed Health & Fitness Club, plus almost doubling the size of the classroom … 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

Planning to Win an Election? Put May 2nd on Your Calendar

A press release from the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office: STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE SPONSORS LOCAL GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY AND ETHICS SEMINAR Louis A. Bianchi is pleased to announce that the State’s Attorney’s Office is sponsoring a free seminar on local government … 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

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

School Boards Seek to Make Freedom of Information Requests Harder

The following was written by Scott Reeder, the journalist in residence at the Illinois Police Institute: EDUCATING IN THE DARK As a journalist, I have filed thousands of Freedom of Information Act requests with Illinois school districts and uncovered major … 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