From Illinois Leaks, reprinted with permission
BY JOHN KRAFT & KIRK ALLEN
Algonquin Township, IL. (ECWd) –
Algonquin Township has been announced as one of four finalists in the Investigative Reporters and Editors (“IRE“) Annual Golden Padlock Award.
From the notice of finalists on IRE’s website (click here to read all four):
Four finalists selected for 2021 Golden Padlock Award
“Investigative Reporters and Editors has named a competitive field of finalists for its 2021 Golden Padlock Award honoring the most secretive public agency or official in the U.S.
Drawn from nominations from journalists across the country, four finalists were chosen for their extraordinary commitment to secrecy, ranging from suing a reporter over a request for public information, denying public access to a report detailing institutional failures that allowed ongoing abuse of children, filing subpoenas to access reporters’ research and deleting personal communications sought through official journalistic requests in the public interest.
“It’s an inspiration to highlight the work of public officials that embody the highest principles of bureaucratic intransigence, self-interest and disregard for the public’s right to know,” said Robert Cribb, chair of IRE’s Golden Padlock Committee.
“These are civil servants of deep conviction whose personal pledge to uphold obfuscation make them worthy of public acknowledgement.”
The winner will be announced during the awards ceremony at the IRE21 virtual conference on Wednesday, June 16. If you are registered for the conference, you can add it to your agenda here.”
About the Algonquin Township finalist:
“The Trustees of Algonquin Township in McHenry County, Illinois, for aggressive attempts to fight the release of information related to alleged corruption reported by the Edgar County Watchdogs. In 2018, the Watchdogs began reporting on alleged nepotism and misuse of funds among the employees. Their reporting included accounts of some Edgar County employees gambling with money from the county’s 911 account. At one point, the reporters received a security video of township employees going through records while discussing which documents should be discarded. The Watchdogs posted the video on YouTube. The township responded by asking YouTube to take down the video and by repeatedly subpoenaing the entire contents of the Watchdogs’ Dropbox account.”