If there is a dispute with respect to a request made under the
FOIA, the attorney general's office, more specifically the public
access counselor, is charged with ruling on the dispute.
Recently, I was reading a blog post about yet another decision the
PAC made in favor of a requester and against the municipality. Since
I receive the post via email, a related link at the bottom of the
email caught my eye. It was entitled "FOIA Request for Attorney
General Records Denied as Unduly Burdensome." The entire post is
The gist of the case was that the attorney general received a FOIA
request, denied the request and then rubber-stamped their own
denial as appropriate.
Anything about that seem strange? All I can
think of is Lloyd telling Harry that you "can't triple-stamp a
double-stamp." "Dumb and Dumber" may be horrendously stupid comedy,
but their logic is now being cited as legal authority by our state
To make it even worse, the circuit court and the
appellate court agreed with the attorney general with no mention of
the conflict. Although the reasoning of the courts was fairly sound, the blatant conflict of interest here is mind-shattering.
[to top of second column]
Let's take this a step further. Connie Citizen files a FOIA request
with the State of Illinois Redundancy Department of the State of
Illinois. The Redundancy Department denies Connie's request, knowing
that the disclosure of the requested records would be very damaging
to the Redundancy Department if they were to be sued by Connie. The
attorney general then rubber-stamps the denial. Isn't that the same
attorney general that would be representing the Redundancy
Department if they were to be sued by Connie Citizen?
Seems to me that the language in the act stating "accountability of
public bodies at all levels of government" does not apply to the
highest level of government at all. But, then again, if the state
government had to operate with transparency, how could they continue to have
such a stellar record of efficiency?
Want some real enlightenment? Take a look at the yearly salary of
our illustrious attorney general and the amount of money she has
spent to convince the unsuspecting citizens that she knows what she
is doing. Mind-blowing stuff.
I am still anxiously awaiting a response from Ms. Madigan to a
letter I sent her in March of this year. Maybe she will shed some
light on this subject at the same time.
Click here to respond to the editor about this