Treasurer Maria Pappas is being forced to use the Freedom of Information Act
to demand financial information from 63 local units of government, including information on their total debt.
Sadly this is not the first time I’ve seen this story. In fact, I see this story about once a month where public officials are denied access to public information
either internally or through FOIA rejection.
That does not mean that I’m not continually shocked to see public officials are struggling as watchdog citizens are to gain access to how public dollars are being spent.
Can you imagine an employee telling a manager of a company they could not have access to their expense report?
These 63 units of government are ignoring Cook County’s Debt Disclosure Ordinance which requires them to upload their 2011 debt and other financial information
to the Treasurer’s website by last December.
“We are taking this extraordinary step of using the FOIA provision because government may not flout the law any more than an individual,” Pappas said. “If anything, government should set the example in obeying the law.”
Pappas has said they’re willing to sue
to get the documents. But how does this provide good government? Taxpayer dollars paying for FOIA lawsuits issues by public officials?
For the record here is a list of the 63 government units refusing to comply:
Addison Creek River Conservancy District, Northlake.Chicago Heights Park District.City of Burbank.Clyde Park District, Cicero.Crawford Countryside Sanitary District, Matteson.Central Stickney Sanitary District, Chicago.Dixmoor Public Library District.Dolton Public Library District.Ford Heights Public Library District.Forest River Sanitary District, Mt. Prospect.Forest View Fire Protection District.Franklin Park Library District.Harvey Public Library District.High School District 209, Maywood.Hometown Fire Protection District.Justice Park District.Kimber Trail Sanitary District, Palos Park.Lighthouse Park District of Evanston.Lincolnway High School 210.Markham Park District.Maywood Park District.Miller Woods Fire Protection District, Steger.Niles Public Library District.Northfield Woods Sanitary District, Glenview.Oak Meadow Sanitary District, Des Plaines.Phoenix Public Library District.Pleasantdale Park District, Burr Ridge.Plum Grove Countryside Park District, Palatine.Plum Grove Estates Sanitary District, Palatine.Posen Park District.Posen Public Library District.Riverdale Park District.Riverside Lawn Fire District.Robbins Park District.Roberts Park Fire Protection District, Hickory Hills/Justice.Roselle Fire Protection District.South Palos Township Sanitary District, Palos Park.South Stickney Sanitary District Burbank.School District 149, Dolton/Calumet City.School District 88, Bellwood.Sunnycrest Fire Protection District, Flossmoor.Southwest Home Equity Assurance 1, Chicago.Thorntown Township High School 205.Township of New Trier.Union Drainage District No. 1, Deerfield.Village of South Chicago Heights.Village of Barrington Hills.Village of Marrionette Park.Village of Burnham.Village of Calumet Park.Village of Dixmoor.Village of East Hazelcrest.Village of Evergreen Park.Village of Ford Heights.Village of Maywood.Village of McCook.Village of Phoenix.Village of Robbins.Village of Saul Village.Village of Stone Park.Village of University Park.Westdale Park District, Melrose Park.Woodley Road Sanitary District, Winnetka.