Group asks what Carlinville mayor, council are hiding
John Kraft has a simple answer to his group's conflict with Carlinville: Send us your credit card statement.
After Kraft, co-founder of the Edgar County Watchdogs, came away from a recent Carlinville board meeting believing that Mayor Deanna Demuzio deliberately concealed credit card statements, he filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
He argued on his group's Illinois Leaks website that the public has a right to know how their tax money is spent, but the gathering was “one of the most unprofessional meetings" he had ever attended.
Kraft is arguing that Demuzio and Carlinville’s city clerk and attorney are trying to repress money matters until the election is over.
Demuzio, a former state senator, is facing two opponents in her re-election bid.
Carlinville Treasurer Jodi Reichmann responded to some of Kraft's accusations of wrongdoing.
“[Your] recent FB post [expressed] your concern and ‘firm opinion’ that ‘something bad has been happening with the city financials,’ and specifically that Mayor Demuzio is hiding credit card bills,” Reichmann said in comments on the ECW's website. “Well now, Mr. Edgar County Watchdog, you are infringing on my reputation as the Treasurer of Carlinville.”
She added that “not one credit card bill [is] missing from its appropriate file folder, ALL are present and accounted for.”
Kraft responded that all Reichmann and the city need to do is turn over all relevant copies to him, which he said would have been done if it had complied with his FOIA filing.
Schuering Law Ltd. attorneys hired by the City of Carlinville denied the FOIA request on March 17 on the grounds that it was for “commercial purposes.” They said the ECW could be required to pay for the information.