Attorney General’s Office finds no violation of Open Meetings Act by South Jax

By Gary Scott on April 3, 2017 at 7:14am

Illinois’ Attorney General’s Office found no violation of the Open Meetings Act by the Village of South Jacksonville.

According to a press release from the Village, after Tyson Manker filed two requests for review with the Attorney General’s Office regarding a “leaked memo” in the recent investigation of Police Chief Josh Hallock, a Public Access Counselor with the Attorney General’s Office stated that there is no basis to conclude any violations of the Open Meetings Act by the Village.

The Public Access Counselor also stated that if one or more Board Trustees were responsible for releasing the memo, sufficient facts do not support an Open Meetings Act violation. Also, the letter to the Village states that the Open Meetings Act does not specifically prohibit disclosure of information considered during a closed session.

The PAC concludes that public bodies do not have the power to sanction their members for disclosing the substance conducted in a closed meeting. Also, in regards to disclosing personal information, the PAC states that the Freedom of Information Act exemptions cannot be read to prohibit dissemination of such information, and is permissive.