Jack Franks Moves to Limit McHenry County Blog Reporting

Friday afternoon McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks made a move to cut the timely release of information that will lead to stories I suspect a number of McHenry County Blog readers would find of interest.

Let me first show the two Freedom of Information requests I filed after last Tuesday’s Board meeting:

  1.  Both Jack Franks and Communications Specialist Oliver Serafini were seen texting or otherwise communicating during the January 17, 2017, County Board meeting.  Under the FOIA I request copies of those electronic communications.
  2. Under the FOIA I request all documents about the new parliamentarian.

Here’s the reply form Scott Hartman, Administrator Peter Austin’s top assistant:

Mr. Skinner –

McHenry County is in receipt of the FOIA request below. Pursuant to 5 ILCS 140/3.2 of the Freedom Of Information Act ( ‘the Act’), this email shall serve as notice that the County of McHenry has determined you to be a recurrent requester as defined in the Act and is treating the request received below as a request under subsection (g) of Section 2. A “recurrent requester” is defined in Section 2(g) of the Act as a person that, in the 12 months immediately preceding the request, has submitted to the same public body (i) a minimum of 50 requests for records, (ii) a minimum of 15 requests for records within a 30-day period, or (iii) a minimum of 7 requests for records within a 7-day period.

From February 9, 2016 to January 20, 2017, you made more than 50 requests for records. Therefore, in accordance with Section 2(g) of the Act, you are now considered a recurrent requester and this request is being treated as a request from a recurrent requester. We will send an initial response in 21 business days after receipt in accordance with Section 3.2(a) of the Act. The response shall (i) provide to the requester an estimate of the time required by the County to provide the records requested and an estimate of the fees to be charged, which the County may require you to pay in full before copying the requested documents, (ii) deny the request pursuant to one or more of the exemptions set out in the Act, (iii) notify you that the request is unduly burdensome and extend an opportunity to you to attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions, or (iv) provide the records requested.

Thank you –

Scott Hartman
McHenry County Deputy County Administrator
2200 N. Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, IL 60098
(815) 334-4924

= = = = =
Of course, anyone can file Freedom of Information Requests. Scott Hartman’s email address is SEHartman@co.mchenry.il.us

A commenter came up with another bit of information that someone might want to request:

“I have a close relative who works for the county (don’t want to say who to protect my family from Emperor Jacko and his government Madigoons) who told me Franks made Peter Austin give him ‘entertainment’ and ‘clothing’ budgets.”

Someone might want to ask for all documents pertaining to any entertainment or clothing allowances or expenditures for Jack Franks.

Other possibilities are

  • emails and any other electronic communications from and to Jack Franks from January 3, 2017, at midnight through January 10, 2017, at midnight.
  • emails and any other electronic communications from and to Jack Franks from January 10, 2017, at midnight through January 17, 2017, at midnight
  • emails and any other electronic communications from and to Jack Franks from January 17, 2017, at midnight through January 22, 2017, at midnight


Jack Franks Moves to Limit McHenry County Blog Reporting — 23 Comments

  1. It seems from above post that the county stated 50 requests were made from February 9, 2016 to January 20, 2017, but did not provide documentation of each request.

    Would want documentation of each request.

    Sometimes the public body states 50 requests have been made in a year, but it turns out that’s not really the case, for a variety of reasons.

    For example, one FOIA request acting for 5 items, is one FOIA request, not 5.

    Edgar County Watchdogs, Better Government Association, and Citizens Advocacy Center in Elmhurst are all resources for citizen watchdog FOIA assistance.


    Have heard the recurrent request label lasts one year but have not seen that in the statute.

    One of the above resources could verify.


    Non profits and the media are not to be considered recurrent requesters.

    Not sure what’s involved in converting McHenry County Blog to a non profit or how blog advertising would affect non profit status.


    Scott E Hartman

    Annual Wages History

    2015 – $115,905 – McHenry County

    2014 – $034,608 – McHenry County ($108,706 combined)

    2014 – $074,098 – City of Highwood

    2013 – $104,351 – City of Highwood

    2012 – $023,090 – City of Highwood

    2011 – ?

    2010 – $83,231 – Village of Pingree Grove

    2009 – $94,994 – Village of Pingree Grove

    2008 – $45,670 – Village of Pingree Grove ($93,908 combined)

    2008 – $48,238 – City of Marengo

    2007 – $79,219 – City of Marengo

    2006 – $76,724 – City of Marengo

    2005 – $73,071 – City of Marengo

    2004 – $70,193 – City of Marengo

    2003 – $64,653 – City of Marengo

    2002 – $02,548 – City of Marengo ($50,864 combined)

    2002 – $48,316 – Village of West Dundee

    2001 – $46,811 – Village of West Dundee

    2000 – $42,322 – Village of West Dundee


    Jack D Franks

    2015 – $78,163

    2014 – $76,366

    2013 – $74,569

    2011 – $74,569

    2010 – $74,569

    2009 – $76,366

    2008 – $76,732

    2007 – $74,028

    2006 – $66,390


    Annual wages source: Open the Books widget

  2. Time to turn FOIA requests over to a coordinator?

    Liebmann did a great job organizing LTEs last year.

    Not sure how to obtain the info but it would be interesting to see how many foreclosures were effected by the Chain of banks owned by the Franks.

  3. I made a FOIA request on 1/18 after I saw Franks texting during the meeting (VERY unprofessional) as well Cal.

    Mine went a little further.

    I will let you know what I receive.

    “I would like copies of all text messages and emails, including time stamps, that Jack Franks has sent since his swearing into office as County Board Chair to the current date.

    I would like to receive text messages from any staff, elected officials, county employee that texted Jack Franks in the same time period.

    Be sure to include texts to and from Oliver Serafini and Bridget Greenen.”

  4. Cal – You are a one man truth patrol superhero.

    Keep up the good work!

  5. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Jacko and his minions used personally owned devices for some of their texting.

    I know the texts are still supposed to be subject to FOIA requests if they are work related, but the County wouldn’t be able to lay their hands on them without Jacko’s cooperation, and good luck with that.

  6. FOIA requests can be made anonymously.

    Create another email account Cal.

  7. They’re attempting to make ‘the FOIA’s’ the problem, or the People, the problem here!

    The problem is Franks is delusional as to what his job responsibilities and limitations of power are that FRANKS (and others who act like him who abuse their power) are the problem!

    He really does think he’s King and the paupers should pay for his fancy frocks and ‘entertainment’!

    Now I’m beginning to see why people refer to him as the white haired Elvis (but that’s not fair to Elvis)

  8. Also, I’m beginning to think a look into Framks’ expenditures of the last 18 yrs as a State Rep is in order!

  9. This is really sad, texting during a meeting regarding the citizens he represents.

  10. See what you have done, people of McHenry County?

    Enjoy whom you’ve elected to run your lives-you used the same stupidity when you elected the same smucks to run the State’s Congress yet elected a Republican Govener who at least WANTED to try to improve the State and lift it from bankruptcy; epic fail

  11. Yes a request can be made anonymously but it’s not advisable to circumvent FOIA recurrent requester limits by using an anonymous email.

  12. gimme,gimme,gimme that is ALL HE HAS LEARNED from being down in Springfield…hand out hand out hand out someone will pay but it won’t be him!…

    this is laughable!

    ignorant, so the whopping .05 a page is worth it!

    Mr. Government because eyes are on you and we will / want to know what your pissing our tax $$ away on!

    we have had it !

    get it! ?

  13. I live next store in tiny Boone county.

    I would like to help you.

    Let me know what I can do.

    Keep up the good work.

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