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September 30, 2022

Glen Ellyn PD responds to AG with excuses and insults…

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 5, 2014

GLEN ELLYN, IL. (ECWd) –

Patricia Taves, the FOIA Officer for the Glen Ellyn Police Department responded to the Attorney General in reference to my complaint of their Freedom of Information Act denial for DUI arrest records.

Instead of a simple explanation of the facts, she decides on an all-out assault on the requester for daring to request any information in the first place.

If you remember the article a couple of weeks ago, I filed a complaint with the AG for a FOIA denial in which it appeared that the major reason for the denial was that I lived 194 miles from the municipality, therefore the information requested could never be of public interest. (read it here)

Now it appears that there are 117 reports, it is a small police department, and she could never produce it all in a reasonable amount of time, let alone within five days. She could have stopped at this point in the letter and it would have been a professional letter.

That would have been too easy. Instead she had to continue on and talks about another FOIA requester and how we are both “affiliated” with the same group — failing to mention she gave him the grand run-around on his request and did not produce any DUI reports for him. What he requested was always “too vague”, and when he tried to adjust it to what she wanted, there was always some other reason to claim she could not provide it. (read the email string here) Here is what was denied in his request, but keep in mind that only one line was requested – the others were an attempt at clarification of the same request:

  • Taves denied a request for any 10 prosecuted DUI arrest reports in the last 6 months
  • Taves denied a request for the last 10 prosecuted DUI arrest reports
  • Taves denied a request for any 10 most recent DUI arrest reports
  • Taves denied a request for 10 DUI arrest reports that had already been prosecuted from 2013
  • Taves denied a request for 10 DUI arrest reports that had already been prosecuted from 2012

All he was after were ten DUI reports from people that had already been prosecuted. He even told her she could redact the names because it did not matter who received the DUI – but that was much too difficult.

This is the point where I filed a FOIA request for two years worth of DUI arrest records. Taves replied that it was excessive and asked me to reduce it to a manageable size.  I replied that one year’s worth would work. Then she replied that it would still be excessive.

Does this pattern of  conversations look all too familiar with the above attempt at obtaining records?

I thought so, and I replied “please provide the requested records”. Please note that there was no indication from Taves on how many records there were, and no suggestions on what she would consider reasonable. She then promptly denied the entire request, and I responded by filing the complaint with the AG’s Office. (read the email string here)

The October 1, 2014 letter to the AG continues by claiming that I wrote an article and didn’t have very many comments on it, therefore it was not of public interest – Like it’s up to her to give that term a definition. She failed to account for readership numbers, which by the way is over 1.5 million, social media comments, emailed comments, etc.

The bottom line here is that the FOIA was violated by an improper denial, and she never once asked for additional time to respond as provided for in FOIA.

Glen Ellyn’s Response to the AG (here)

My response to their response (here)

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7 Comments
  • Edward Franckowiak
    Posted at 07:55h, 05 October

    I guess we need to comment on this entry so that they can know that the public is interested.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 09:17h, 05 October

      LOL – I was wondering if anyone would say that.

  • Dave
    Posted at 12:04h, 05 October

    If there is a lack of public interest then why not complete the FOIA request for Illinois Leaks, shouldn’t be a burden? Besides, I have read the law, a large amount of public interest doesn’t have to be demonstrated before public info must be shared with John Q. Public. What is the GE PD trying to hide?

  • Susan Newberg
    Posted at 14:09h, 05 October

    I would love to know if Taves completed the mandatory FOIA training before taking on a job clearly beyond her capabilities. The request to identify exactly what data you are seeking is in direct conflict with the statute which states no explanation of the request is required. I anxiously await the PAC determination.

  • John Emo
    Posted at 21:16h, 05 October

    I am trying to understand what is the point here? Is there really something Mr. Kraft is seeking to obtain? Why is it so difficult to state your true purpose? I reside in Glen Ellyn, and while we were recently reported as being the 7th safest place to live in Illinois, that doesn’t mean our small PD doesn’t have plenty of better things to do.

    So, what is that you truly want from your request?

  • Lisle Watchdog
    Posted at 22:01h, 05 October

    We have a public interest in DUI records in Glen Ellyn… Right next door to Lisle.

  • Theodore P. Hartke, PE, PLS, President, Hartke Engineering and Surveying, Inc.
    Posted at 22:30h, 05 October

    I (personally) would like to know how many DUI’s that College of Dupage board members might have. I suspect maybe that there is a certain board member, president, or perhaps the chairwoman who might have more than one DUI which is being kept “top secret” while the wheels are falling off their financial cover-ups. Why would the Glen Ellyn Police Dept suddenly want to become the newest target of detailed scrutiny of community watchdog organizations?

    My suggestion to the Glen Ellyn Police Dept is to “protect and serve the public” instead of being served with notice to appear for FOIA violation lawsuits. They should seriously consider the Edgar County Watchdog’s perfect record of getting the information they have requested. There are two ways this will be handed over……..either the easy way, or the hard way. Has Mrs. Taves been to Edgar County? She might find herself on a 194 mile road trip real soon…….where she will try to defend her reasons in front of a judge for violating FOIA laws.

    I just saw a newscast on Channel 15 a few minutes ago which covered the “questionable accounting” at the College of DuPage. It is time to stop wasting time and money. Let’s see all of the documents so informed decisions can be made.

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