Local FOIA requests center on hot-button issues

From Daily Chronicle:

Local governments in DeKalb County received at least 700 FOIA requests from residents from around the country in the six months between Oct. 4, 2012, and March 4.

In commemoration of Sunshine Week, a nationwide movement dedicated to open government, the Daily Chronicle filed FOIA requests with local governments to see how people used the common information tool.


Bob Heisse: Sunshine Week celebrates the public’s right to know

From The State Journal-Register:

The idea for Sunshine Week started — appropriately enough — in Florida in 2002 when that state’s newspapers shed light on proposals by some legislators to create many new exemptions to the public records laws.

Following three Sunshine Sundays in which newspapers publicized these efforts, Florida legislators voted down about 300 proposals that would have restricted the right to know.



Shell games and FOIA, IL

From Illinois Times:

Thank goodness for the government.

That was the way that Silly Pretend Journalists, aka the Society of Professional Journalists, saw things eight years ago when they bestowed attorney general Lisa Madigan with the coveted Sunshine Award, akin to an Oscar from a group of navel gazers that purports to be a watchdog for the public interest.


Illinois AG upholds FOIA request

From The Register-Mail:

GALESBURG — The Illinois Attorney General’s office has ruled that Knox County must turn over documents detailing the settlement amounts of three sexual harassment suits levied against the county and State’s Attorney John Pepmeyer “immediately.”

However, there was no one at the County Courthouse who could make the documents available Friday, the day The Register-Mail received the ruling from the attorney general’s office.


Open government groups urge Illinois court to grant records access

Press release from Student Press Law Center (SPLC):

The Student Press Law Center (“SPLC”) and other open-government groups are urging the Illinois Appellate Court to grant journalists access to records of a university’s investigation into sexual harassment claims against coaches and a settlement paid to resolve those claims.


Illinois man to hold vigil for open government

From WJBC.com:

GALENA – A Galena man is waging a campaign to see the federal government’s business conducted in public.

Bill Fawell, 58, a real estate developer with politicians in his family, is author of New American Revolution: The Constitutional Overthrow of the United States Government. He’s urging registered voters to “light a candle for liberty” Monday from 7-8 p.m.



NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for June 22, 2012

A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week:

Judge’s ruling confirms Nevada public records are public


Study still shows massive Illinois FOIA noncompliance

From Northwest Herald:

It took Ed Mrkvicka Jr. a year under the improved Illinois Freedom of Information Act to get a two-page state disciplinary report about a real estate agent. The Marengo resident and his daughter filed two FOIA requests with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Not only did the agency ignore the request, but it also had ignored the Illinois Attorney General Public Access Counselor’s order to submit the documents for review.


Requests for public records surge in Lake Forest

From Lake Forester:

The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has made it possible for anyone to request records of all public entities such as municipalities, schools and park districts to bolster government transparency. How much time and money local entities spend on fulfilling FOIA requests, in some cases, has grown dramatically.