21 Aug 2014
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Jarratt Claims D46 FOIA Compliance Violation

Alleged incomplete FOIA may impact District 46 investigation.

Jarratt Claims D46 FOIA Compliance Violation

While a new investigator has been chosen by the Grayslake District 46 school board, Lake County Tea Party Chairman Lennie Jarratt is not satisfied that the complaint he filed in April against the superintendent and school board can be properly reviewed because he claimed it is missing a significant number of requested emails.

“Until all the emails are released from D46 so they can be reviewed in an impartial and thorough manner, the selection of an investigator is a waste of district funds,” said Jarratt.  “Tonigan or any other investigator will be unable to perform a complete and thorough investigation.”

The investigator, former Circuit Court Judge Henry Tonigan, received a letter notifying him of the alleged discrepancy.

“I am aware of the complainant’s statement. I have made an inquiry as to the remaining documentation. I need to know the full extent of the complaint before I can begin an investigation,” Tonigan told Patch.

Jarratt filed a complaint in May with the Illinois Attorney General’s office citing a discrepancy between the emails he received through his FOIA request to D46 versus what he should have received:

“I am writing to inform you that Grayslake Community Consolidated School District 46 violated the Freedom of Information Act. Attached are my original FOI to District 46 and their response. If you match the emails against the emails in case 2011 PAC 13983 that you have on file, you will quickly see that an overwhelming number of emails were left out of the response. There should have been several hundred pages of more emails sent from District 46 emails that I should have received with this FOI. Secondly, the denial of some parts of the FOI request is also unacceptable since I had narrowed my request to only emails relating to what would be considered political correspondence in nature. These would not be private since they weresent on district time and equipment.”

On June 10, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office notified D46 attorney Kevin Gordon that while some of the emails requested could be withheld, the balance could not be withheld.

“The district’s use of the exemption in section 7(1)c to withhold the names of students, parents, District personnel, and members of the community which appear in responsive invoices is denied. We have concluded that the District has not met its initial burden of demonstrating that the disclosure of this information would be highly objectionable to a reasonable person,” said Matthew Sebek, assistant attorney general for the Public Access Bureau. 

District 46 Superintendent Ellen Correll said the district attorney was handling the complaint and that she had no further comment at this time.

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