CHICAGO, IL. (ECWd) -
After researching some of the grants issued by the Illinois Arts Council ("IAC") during times when they did not conduct any public meetings, I came across one grant in particular in which I felt was somewhat questionable.
In 2015, the IAC approved several "Master Apprentice Program" ("MAP") grants for FY2015. You can view these grants at this link.
One grant in particular, in the amount of $3000 was given to a Naperville Master Artist, who listed her apprentice as having the same last name. I found it odd the state would pay, or grant, public funds for someone to train a relative on certain music, if my assumptions were true.
I called IAC employee Mr. George Tarasuk, who was fairly rude on the phone, to ask if I was mistaken in my assumption this grant was given to someone to teach a relative. He refused to answer this simple question, so I submitted a FOIA request asking that question, or in the alternative to provide requested records which consisted of copies of that particular grant application and other records pertaining to it.
The FOIA request was sent on July 20, at 2:39 p.m., which means the first day for calculating FOIA's 5-day response time started on July 21st. It wasn't until July 28th, that Shirley Madigan responded stating they needed more time to provide the requested records, never stating any statutory authority for the extension, nor a legitimate reason for the delay. She also never mentioned they were already late in requesting an extension, if it were a legitimate reason.
IAC is stone-walling providing public records...again!