URBANA, IL. (ECWd) -
We recently published the Attorney General's opinion that Urbana recently violated the Open Meetings Act twice by their content-based prohibiting of certain public comment during meetings. We redacted the AG's opinion by blocking out the victim's home addresses and personal email addresses.
The City of Urbana, through its City Administrator, Carol Mitten, published the AG Opinion on its website without redacting the personal home and email addresses of the victims of the city's unreasonable prohibitions on public speech.
It is almost as if the city is trying to send a message to those who may complain, that their personal information will be on full display should they file a complaint.
What draws us to that opinion and makes this newsworthy?
In a recent Court filing answering our Freedom Of Information Act lawsuit against the City of Urbana for unlawfully redacting the names of people who paid money to the city to receive responses to FOIA requests, the city argues: "That disclosing the information requested by Plaintiff and redacted by Defendant would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, and that such disclosure has not been consented to by the individual subjects of the information. 5 ILCS 140/7(c)."
So in a Court filing the city wrongly claims that disclosing simply the names of individuals who paid money to the city would "constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" - the city turns around and actually publishes to their website the names and personal addresses of the victims of their abusive public comment policy.
In the case of the FOIA lawsuit: the Constitution, the Local Records Act, and the Freedom of Information Act all require that the names of those who pay money to, or receive money from the city are public records and shall be disclosed - Urbana redacted them and will now lose a lawsuit for their poor decision.
In the case of publishing the home address and email addresses of victims of their unreasonable public comment policy; while the city is not required to redact that information, they certainly look the fool for publishing it while arguing the opposite to the Courts.
Cover photo for this article from "CheckCU.org"