Lawsuit Spurs City Council To Vote On Public Records Destruction Ban

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Springfield Police Dept. Internal Affairs files were among 30 or more files said to have been destroyed – photo credit: sxc.hu

The Springfield City Council is expected to vote Tuesday night on an ordinance prohibiting the destruction of public records.

The action comes as a Springfield man is suing the City for allegedly destroying police internal affairs files he was seeking through a Freedom of Information Act Request.

Peter Gray has more on the lawsuit and why Mayor Mike Houston is asking the Attorney General’s office to investigate.

.mp3 – 1:15

credit: twitter.com/calvin1991

Calvin Christian (credit: twitter.com/calvin1991)

Calvin Christian is a columnist for the grassroots monthly newspaper Pure News USA and regularly submits FOIA requests to the City.

Last month Christian was seeking a number of police files detailing disciplinary action taken over the past five years when, according to a lawsuit he filed last week [click to read], the city stalled long enough to have them wiped from their database.

Don Craven specializes in FOIA law and is lead attorney representing Christian. He wants a Sangamon County judge to appoint an expert to search city computers for any trace of the files.

CRAVEN: “I think it speaks volumes that it’s the first time in the 30 years that I’ve been doing this work that I’ve known a city to shred somewhere between 30 and 70 files that were subject to a FOIA request. The City can’t even agree on how many files there were. Somebody told the union president 73 and the Mayor now tries to say 30.”

30 “expunged” files are referenced in Mayor Houston’s letter [click to read] yesterday to Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

In it, the mayor asks her office to investigate whether any “wrong doing was demonstrated”.

The City Council will vote tonight on an ordinance prohibiting the destruction of public records. The City has until June 2nd to respond to the lawsuit.

This entry was posted in Springfield City Gov't. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Lawsuit Spurs City Council To Vote On Public Records Destruction Ban

  1. Pingback: Mayor Houston asks attorney general to look into document shredding (SJR, 5/7/13) | Springfield Voice

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