Group not buying Carlinville's seemingly seedy CD story
Two separate CDs the City of Carlinville said it sent in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by a government oversight group either got lost in the mail or never made it that far, the group argued on Tuesday.
John Kraft, one of the founders of the Edgar County Watchdogs, said on the group's Illinois Leaks website that the Illinois Office of the Attorney General (AG) Public Access Bureau (PAB) sent letters to Carlinville city Attorney Daniel Schuering asking for an explanation for the city's failure to respond to Kraft's FOIA requests.
In response, the city claimed to have sent him the records on a CD in early April. When Kraft said he had not received the letter, the city allegedly mailed a second CD on April 18. Kraft said it, too, has not arrived.
The city had previously deemed Kraft's January 16 FOIA request as "commercial" and required prepayment of $200 for the records. Schuering's letter also informed Kraft that the city would require 35 days to provide the requested materials, although FOIA regulations require a response within five business days. The city's denial was dated February 14 -- nearly four weeks after Kraft's initial request.
Kraft requested a review by the PAB, which sent Carlinville a letter on February 22 requesting an explanation regarding its denial of Kraft's FOIA request. The city had seven business days to respond; it did not reply, Kraft said.
Kraft filed additional FOIA requests on March 18 and March 20; the city did not respond to those requests either, he said, so he asked for another review.
The PAB sent a letter to the City of Carlinville on March 29 regarding the additional FOIA requests. The follow-up letter from the PAB referenced the March 29 letter and reminded the city that it is required to respond within seven business days with the requested materials as well as fully cooperate with the PAB.