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August 12, 2022

AG: Madison County Sheriff improperly withheld video records –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On June 19, 2020

Madison Co., IL. (ECWd) –

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s Public Access Counselor Office has determined the Madison County Sheriff violated four sections of the Freedom of Information Act by improperly withholding records requested under the Act.

On May 4, 2020, Mr. Dorman submitted a request to the Sheriff’s Office seeking a copy of a video recording of a named candidate filing precinct committeeman papers at the Madison County Clerk’s Office on December 4, 2017. On May 8, 2020, the Sheriff’s Office denied his request.

The AG’s Office had previously issued a determination involving nearly identical circumstances (2018 PAC 51411), in which the office concluded that the Sheriff’s Office improperly withheld a video recording of a candidate filing for public office in the Madison County Clerk’s Office on December 1, 2017.

In its determination , the AG stated:

  • The Sheriff’s Office did not set forth any information indicating that the responsive video recording of a public area of a public building consists of “private information.” Therefore, the Sheriff’s Office improperly withheld the video recording under section 7(1)(b).
  • The Sheriff’s Office did not set forth facts indicating that disclosure of the responsive footage, depicting a public area of a public building more than three years ago, would endanger anyone’s life or physical safety. Therefore, the Sheriff’s Office improperly withheld the footage under the section 7(1)(d)(vi) exemption.
  • In 2018 PAC 51411, this office noted that “[t]he Sheriff’s Office did not explain how disclosing video footage of the counter in the public area of the Clerk’s Office would somehow jeopardize the security of the Madison County Jail.” Ill. Att’y Gen. PAC Req. Rev. Ltr. 51411, at 7. Because the Sheriff’s Office did not set forth any new information in this matter, the Sheriff’s Office improperly withheld the responsive recording under section 7(1)(e).
  • Because the Sheriff’s Office did not set forth any new information in this matter, this office concludes that the Sheriff’s Office improperly denied the request under section 7(1)(v).
  • In accordance with the conclusions expressed in this letter, this office requests that the Sheriff’s Office provide Mr. Dorman with a copy of the responsive video footage.

Read the complete determination letter (here) below:

MADISON CO SHERIFF 62916-f-71c-improper-71v-improper-co_Redacted

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3 Comments
  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 09:10h, 20 June

    So, does the Madison County Sheriff go to jail for committing a crime? Does he get a fine? Does anyone in his office loose any pay, spend time in jail or have their civil rights abridged? AND this is the second time in very, very recent years this has occurred. How many times does this need to happen before our AG’s office gets the message?

    Does anyone really believe the toothless AG’s office, or the mumbling words they speak are actually a deterrent to anything? Justice does not exist unless the rule of law is enforced, until a penalty is paid. A tough job…when done well, haven’t seen much of that from this player.
    It’s hard to say which is worse, combating the criminals walking the streets or combating ineffective blowhards in the AG’s office that have infected Illinois government. Can the AG get fired for not doing his job? Apparently not. Does the sheriff have consequences apparently not.

    This is the very reason Illinois Is over run with rodents. No consequences, blind enforcement, and cherry picking who pays for their crimes. The cockroaches live on.

    We now see a determined push to defund the police in many areas…..because…..they are have not been and are not punished when they are clearly violating the law. Da….what an idea.
    This determination by our AG’s office aids, abets and undermines the rule of law with this do nothing toothless determination. Is he hoping to gum the sheriff into submission with his mutterings? It will happen again…
    Faith in Illinois Law is undercut by our AG’s mumblings. Crime is up. Citizens are voting with their feet, and leaving the mumbo jumbo justice offered here in Illinois……………….. behind.

  • GW ONE
    Posted at 09:16h, 20 June

    The Sheriff needs to resign his post immediately. And where was the Madison County States Attorney? Did the SA advise the Sheriff to withhold information? Rob Dorman just won the lottery – he wins his lawsuit against Madison County Board. The Sheriff and SA have egg on their face and as time develops Dorman’s lawsuit, I wonder how many Republican County Board members will be embarrassed too? Dorman’s lawyer will find lots of collusion between Democrats and Republican in this wrongful discharge. Let the Pleadings and Depositions begin.

  • cynthia
    Posted at 17:18h, 20 June

    Great comments and thank you for posting. Outrageous behavior

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