Watchdog group questions newspaper's defense of Carlinville
The Macoupin County Enquirer-Democrat is attacking regular citizens concerned about local government while defending the illegal act of refusing to supply government information requested through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) contend.
“It is beyond us why any purported newspaper would ever defend a public body who made it a pattern and practice to improperly deny requests for public records, vote in public session to provide said requested records, never provide them after a unanimous vote to provide them, and lie about it over and over again,” ECW John Kraft wrote on the group’s Illinois Leaks website regarding the City of Carlinville's alleged refusal to respond to FOIA requests.
The newspaper said it would publish all FOIA requests sent to the city so that residents can draw their own conclusions, arguing that while FOIA requests are an important part of government transparency, they can also be used to badger and overwhelm public bodies.
“…[T]heir article appeared to be more of a whining statement about the actual FOIA requesters, than the statutory right to file a request for public records, and to do so without intimidation by the public officials you filed the request with or about,” Kraft wrote. “The legislature provided for relief from burdensome and frequent requests within the law, but they also defined burdensome and frequent. So far, the requests sent to the city have not met that definition.”
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