New FOIA rules prove frustrating
By BRUCE RUSHTON
THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER
Nine months after an overhaul of the state Freedom of Information Act took effect, some folks have given up on the state attorney general’s public access counselor’s office, which is supposed to referee FOIA disputes and reduce the need for litigation.
“Because of the lack of enforcement by (Attorney General) Lisa Madigan, the FOIA law is worse,” says Paul Tomasik, an elected trustee in the village of Thornton near Chicago who is seeking billing records for ambulance services provided by the village.
Tomasik wants to know whether people transported in village ambulances who live outside Thornton are paying their bills. When the village told him that it could not get ZIP codes for people who were mailed bills, he sought help from the public access counselor’s office in February. In July, he gave up on the attorney general and filed a lawsuit, which is pending in Cook County.