Douglas, Co. IL. (ECWd) -
During the December 16, 2014 hearings on FOIA cases against Arcola Township, I was making the argument that Mr. Petty was not authorized by law to respond to a FOIA requester since he was not an "employee or officer" of the Township of Arcola. One requirement in the Freedom of Information Act, is that the FOIA Officers for a public body must be an "employee or officer" of that public body [
5 ILCS 140/3.5(a)]. Additionally, the FOIA officer is the person that has to respond to the requester.
After my presentation to the Court, Mr. Petty stated to the Judge that he was an employee of the Township and had been an employee for more than 15 years, see page 10, line 10 of the below transcript. Judge Broch believed his lie and found that he was an employee of the Township, see page 12 line 19, without any further proof other than his statement.
What Petty is, is a contracted service provider, providing legal services to the Township.
Just to show that Petty must not understand FOIA, I challenged a different public body's attorney when he initially made similar claims in reference to FOIA requests. His answer was the correct answer, and stated:
So there are some honest ones out there, just not the one from Arcola...