Bloomington violates FOIA correspondence rule
The Edgar County Watchdogs recently reported that the video of the Nov. 14 Bloomington City Council meeting was redacted to remove public comments before it was posted on the website.
The group questioned Mayor Tari Renner's ability to control his staff and whether the mayor had ordered the censoring of the video. When the watchdogs asked for an unedited copy of the video, City Clerk Andrew Coffey referred them to the edited video.
Though Coffey responded to the request, he did not provide the un-redacted video requested by the watchdogs. When challenged by the group, the city clerk emailed the censored text from the video. The watchdogs again requested an uncensored copy of the video, pointing out that he had not fulfilled the request for public records. He did not respond within the mandatory time period.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests must be responded to within five days. The city of Bloomington violated state law by not responding to the watchdogs' request in a timely manner.
Illinois Leaks revealed that Bloomington has already been sued for FOIA violations. The watchdog group's experience indicates that a failure to fulfill FOIA requests may be becoming a pattern with the city.
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Bloomington, IL - 61701