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

County Ready to Settle Nygren Freedom of Information Suit re Zinke Report with First Electric Newspaper – $104,000 in Legal Fees

Pete Gonigam, Publisher of the First Electric Newspaper, sued McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nyrgen when the former top cop refused to release the report about an investigation of his Chief Deputy and chosen replacement Andy Zinke. Mary Gardner was Gonigam’s … Continue reading

$5,000 Fine for Nygren’s “Willful” Refusal to Comply with FOIA Request

According to Pete Gonigam’s article on Thursday’s Freedom of Information Act hearing on attorney’s fees, there was an additional $5,000 fine ordered by Judge Thomas Meyer. It was levied “against the Sheriff’s Office last month for ‘willfully’ withholding the report,” Gonigam … Continue reading

Sheriff Nygren’s Campaign Protection of Zinke Costs Taxpayers $78,000

$78,299.96 to be exact. That’s what it will cost taxpayers because former McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren refused to provide information that a decision of the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Division said he should make available under the Freedom … 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

Must Read: FEN’s “Judge Fines Sheriff’s Office For Withholding Zinke Report”

The Republican primary election for McHenry County Sheriff took place over a year ago, but a blatantly political act by former Sheriff Keith Nygren to protect his chosen successor, Undersheriff Andy Zinke, has resulted in Judge Thomas Meyer’s handing out … Continue reading

Hill/Miller Submitted No Doctor’s Notes for Remote County Board Access

Earlier this month John Hammerand was denied the opportunity to participate by phone in a County Board meeting. Fellow member Ken Koehler asked whether Hammerand had handed in a note from his doctor, according to the Northwest Herald. Reading that, … 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

Gonigam Gets Permission to See Summary of Zinke Exoneration Report

Because the sound system is so bad, I can’t be sure what was said in the courtroom of Thomas Meyer Thursday morning. But I think he ruled that the Sheriff’s Office had waived its right to use an excuse in … 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

Legislature Set to Override Freedom of Information Restriction Veto

Governments like to keep secrets. It’s an attribute ingrained in the beast. Even outsiders elected to office vowing transparency get pushed in the direction of keeping information from the public. The local governments have gotten together and convinced our state … Continue reading

Nunda Township Loses Freedom of Information Appeal on Senior Bus Audit

At the request of Deputy County Administrator John Labjai (now retired), McHenry County Auditor Pam Palmer performed an audit on Nunda Township’s senior bus program. It was financed with a grant administered by McHenry County.  Federal and state money was … Continue reading

FOI Reply To Threat Documents Finally Arrives, No Threats Documented

The Friday before last (August 1st) after the close of business I filed a Freedom of Information request with the Village of Oakwood Hills for documents that showed that there had been threats against village officials. It should have been … Continue reading