Houston Gathering Information As City Responds To Lawsuit

Spfld_PoliceBadge_credit city siteSpringfield Mayor Mike Houston says he’s gathering more information about events last month that triggered allegations that the city destroyed files sought in a Freedom of Information Act Request.

Peter Gray reports.

.mp3 – 1:02 Attorneys for Springfield resident Calvin Christian say the police department violated a state public records retention law last month by destroying dozens of internal affairs files subject to a FOIA request.

Mayor Mike Houston and the city’s attorney briefed aldermen on the status of the lawsuit during an hour-long, closed-door session Tuesday night. After the meeting the mayor said he has put things in place since the incident to prevent destruction of city files.

HOUSTON: “I think things are fairly clear today, where they may not have been clear a couple of weeks ago. We have issued an executive order in terms of what we are doing. I don’t think that anybody is going to be destroying documents.”

Four aldermen last night tried to pass a resolution that would require City Council approval for shredding or deleting city records. For emergency passage it needed eight votes, but got only 7.

Mayor Houston was among the four to vote “no”, calling it unnecessary. The Mayor says the city “follows the law and will continue to follow the law”.

Houston sent a letter to Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Monday, requesting an investigation into any possible wrongdoing on the part of the police department.

He said Tuesday night he has yet to hear back from Madigan’s office.

-Peter Gray

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