Public Watchdog.org

City Attorney Is Blowing Smoke On Public Evaluation Of City Mgr.

05.27.16

Those Park Ridge residents who oppose the principles of H.I.T.A. (“Honesty, Integrity, Transparency, Accountability”) espoused by our late Mayor Dave Schmidt got an early Christmas present a couple of weeks ago when relatively new City Attorney Julie Tappendorf proclaimed the City’s unique contribution to open government – the open-session performance evaluation of the city manager – violated the Illinois Personnel Records Review Act (the “PRRA”).

You can watch and listen to her sparse explanation of why that is by checking out the 05.16.16 meeting video, starting at the 1:36:10 mark and continuing for about 9 minutes.

Tappendorf pointed to a 2010 amendment to the PRRA which provides that “disclosure of performance evaluations under the Freedom of Information Act shall be prohibited.” You can read not only that provision (highlighted in yellow) but the entire PRRA by clicking here.

Tappendorf is no bumbler: she knows municipal law, including its various permutations like the PRRA and the Illinois Open Meetings Act (“IOMA”). But she makes her living exclusively by representing governmental bodies and by telling the public officials who run those bodies – both elected/appointed and bureaucrats –what they want to hear. Those officials generally are as enthusiastic about transparency as vampires are about sunshine. So the best way for her (and most/all other government-centric attorneys) to stay on good paper with those officials is to find ways to help them hide, and hide what they’re doing, from their constituents who pay the freight; i.e., the taxpayers.

When Park Ridge, with its iconoclastic City Council, was added to AG’s stable of governmental clients last year, it must have dawned on Tappendorf and her partners that they might have problems justifying our Council’s several year old process of reviewing the city manager’s performance in open session – with the individual aldermanic evaluations published on the City’s website so that each of those aldermen could be held as accountable for how HE evaluated the city manager as the city manager was being held for HIS performance – to their other government clients whom they’ve encouraged for years to run into closed sessions and hide such reviews from their constituents.

That meant Tappendorf couldn’t continue to let the City Council operate in the sunshine. The solution: steal our sunshine.

And not just by scaring our acting mayor and his six fellow aldermen into not publishing their evaluations on the City’s website with warnings about lawsuits, fines and the heartbreak of psoriasis. She also tried to stampede them into conducting the actual evaluation discussion itself in closed sessions, going so far as to suggest that the consequences of what the City Council has already done might be so dire that they shouldn’t even be talked about in open session where the unwashed public might actually hear the reasoning behind her opinions.

That reasoning could prove mighty interesting given that Tappendorf appears to be extending Section 11 of the PRRA – which was enacted back in 2010 and is expressly limited to FOIA requests – to City Council meetings held under the provisions of IOMA which permit but do not require ANY closed session discussions.

And although Section 11 has been in effect for more than five years now, we could not find one Illinois court decision interpreting or enforcing that Section consistent with Tappendorf’s opinion and advice; nor could we find any Illinois Attorney General opinion supporting Tappendorf. In the world of law and litigation, attorney opinions and arguments without the support of such authority are regularly disregarded by the courts, and should be.

That might explain Tappendorf’s desire to hide her reasoning in closed session, where the only alderman who might have the legal chops to challenge her opinions and advice is Ald. Nick Milissis, an attorney. But with Milissis’ expertise concentrated primarily in national security and terrorism matters, he likely would not be able to go toe-to-toe with Tappendorf on a matter such as this.

So far the only support we’ve heard for Tappendorf’s advocacy of a return to Star Chamber government, at least when it comes to evaluating the City’s CEO and highest-paid official, comes from known disciples of the pre-Mayor Dave “old style” of Park Ridge government, where the elected officials who weren’t content to simply bury their heads in the sand did their best to thwart transparency, scrutiny and accountability not only for themselves but also for their bureaucrat buddies drawing good salaries and accruing even better pensions on the taxpayers’ dime.

You can tell those supporters by their description of the open-session evaluation of the city manager as horrific, embarrassing, cruel, unthinkable, and a form of public humiliation.

Of course, that’s the same mindset that considers a lack of transparency and accountability by public employees, and annual raises unrelated to performance, as an acceptable form of entitlement. And that’s the same mindset that has prevailed, and continues to prevail, at the Star Chambers that pass for school boards at School Districts 64 and 207.

Tappendorf’s predecessor, former city attorney Everette “Buzz” Hill, described our City Council as “a unique outfit” with “an antipathy toward closed sessions” which Hill conceded might very well be “a real healthy antipathy” despite its being unlike anything he had observed in any of the various governmental bodies for whom he provided legal services. You can read more about Hill’s comments in our 02.02.15 post. While we disagreed with Hill on more than one occasion, that kind of acknowledgment by a long time public-sector attorney was itself unprecedented.

And accurate.

If this Council truly believes in H.I.T.A., and if its antipathy to closed sessions and unnecessary secrecy is as sincere as it is “unique” and “healthy,” it should demand that Tappendorf provide a memo (publishable on the City’s website) in which she sets out her complete argument – with supporting Illinois case decisions, if any exist – demonstrating that Section 11 of the PRRA: (a) legally prohibits the City’s voluntary publication of the city manager’s evaluations by each alderman, unrelated to any FOIA obligation or request; and (b) legally prohibits the Council’s open-session evaluation of the city manager even though such a discussion is permissible under IOMA.

And to avoid having to revisit this issue every year, or biannually with the seating of each new council, this City Council should require the next city manager appointee to sign an employment contract in which he/she expressly agrees to an open-session evaluation at the Council’s discretion. Any city manager candidate who subscribes to H.I.T.A. should have no problem doing so; and any candidate who doesn’t subscribe to H.I.T.A. doesn’t deserve the job.

To borrow a phrase from George Orwell: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

And telling it publicly rather than inside the closed-session Star Chamber is a “unique” and “healthy” revolutionary act.

To read or post comments, click on title.

55 comments so far

Ain’t you, as put on the Simpsons, a “law talking guy?” That should have known about this law passed six years ago! Scarier didn’t your law firm bid to become the new city attorney’s? And was the last PR city attorney asleep at wheel?

http://www.rsnlt.com/news/law-alerts/2010/12/02/do-not-disclose-the-personnel-records-review-act-will-now-prohibit-the-disclosure-of-all-employee-performance-evaluations-in-response-to-a-foia-records-request/

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes. Yes. Yes. No.

The title to your link reads: “DO NOT DISCLOSE: The Personnel Records Review Act Will Now Prohibit the Disclosure of All Employee Performance Evaluations in Response to a FOIA Records Request” [Emphasis added.]

And because of your mental impairment, and our “law talking[ness],” we’ll explain this for you:

1. Disclosure of performance evaluations in response to FOIA request is prohibited;

2. The Council’s disclosure of Hamilton’s evaluations was not in response to a FOIA request;

3. The PRRA does not trump IOMA; and

4. IOMA permits the discussion of employment evaluations in open session.

Rinse and repeat.

http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/opinions/appellatecourt/2005/3rddistrict/august/html/3050011.htm

Pre-2010 court decision stating a public employees performance evaluation should not be disclosed even in the face of a FOIA request.

Guess the school boards are following the law as opposed to being a “star chamber” – wonder if your blog will give Hamilton some ideas of lawsuits to file against his former employers breaches of the law. We can then thank you for forcing the tax payers to incur legal fees bc of your big misguided mouth. Thanks in advance dog

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Section 2 of the Open Meetings Act permits public bodies to hold closed meetings….” [Emphasis added.] NOTE: “Permits,” not “requires.”

As for the FOIA portion of that decision, it appears to have been based on a closed-session evaluation of the employee’s performance permitted – but not requireed – under IOMA. And, consequently:

“The Board could properly meet in closed session to consider Royster’s performance, discipline and dismissal, exactly the information contained in the requested documents. The effect of the trial court’s holding would be to nullify this exception to the Open Meetings Act once the content of the closed meeting is reduced to writing. Our determination that the documents are exempt from disclosure under the FOIA construes the two statutes consistently and harmoniously.”

The Council did oot conduct Hamilton’s review in closed session, so this case is not precedent for Hamilton’s review. Furthermore, since it was not conducted in closed session the City’s ability to disclose the written evaluations themselves, both before and after the open-session evaluation, would not be affected by IOMA. Accordingly, Hamilton will not sue; and if he were to do so, he would not win based on this precedent.

But thanks for prompting us to elucidate these points further, Silly. Your silliness and ignorance do have some redeeming value.

Too funny. You and your bobble head sheep crying transparency, star chamber blah blah …have walked right into violating the law! Civil penalties and all! From discussion below in local trib it appears your beloved city council had it wrong and your hated school boards had it right. LOL on you!

Ald knight is not a lawyer but you dog say you are a lawyer …guess you skip one too many of your continuing education classes.

responded 5th Ald. Dan Knight, to which City Clerk Betty Henneman commented, “You’ve had your head in the sand.”

“I didn’t have my head in the sand,” Knight said angrily. “I’m not the human resources director here, and I’m not the city attorney.”

The Park Ridge City Council in September 2015 hired the law firm of Ancel Glink to represent the city in municipal matters. The city was previously represented by attorneys with the firm of Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins.

Suppan called Park Ridge “the only city I know that’s ever discussed someone’s evaluation in open session.”

Maloney directed Hamilton to remove any of his past written evaluations from the city’s website.

The Park Ridge Public Library Board in the spring of 2015 publicly shared its annual review of the executive director’s performance. Like the city, the library also now uses the services of Ancel Glink.

“I think all of the other taxing bodies should be made aware of this discussion and potential changes in their policies and practices,” Shubert said.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tappendorf did her Scary Movie routine so well that she avoided actually having “B.S.” called on her in the open meeting. But that’s why we’ve called “B.S.” on her in this post.

Let’s see if the Council lets Tappendorf stampede them into closed session so she can say more scary things without anybody there ready, willing and able of calling “B.S.” on her.

As for Suppan, “H.R.” after his name must mean “Has Resume” because, as Ald. Knight pointed out, he didn’t say squat about the open-session reviews for the past five years after Section 11 was amended.

The appellate court held that the documents were exempt from the Freedom of Information Act as part of the personnel file. The court also noted the interplay of the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act, finding that the two statutes should be construed together. In so holding, the court concluded that a closed session was properly held to discuss the employment of the school superintendent and when such was put into writing and placed in the employee’s personnel file, it was not intended to waive the exemption under the Open Meetings Act. The court recognized that to hold otherwise, and allow minutes from the closed session to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, would essentially nullify the exception to the Open Meetings Act. The court further indicated that the statutes should not be read so as to be inconsistent with each other, but rather the Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act should be read “consistently and harmoniously.” Id. at 325.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Excellent, Silly, you may actually be trainable…at chimp level, but trainable nonetheless.

Now can you understand, as we previously pointed out, how this case would not be precedent for the Council’s OPEN-SESSION review of Hamilton because the court’s decision was based on the fact that “a closed session was properly held to discuss the employment of the school superintendent”?

We didn’t think so. Poor Silly.

Sec. 11. This Act shall not be construed to diminish a right of access to records already otherwise provided by law, provided that disclosure of performance evaluations under the Freedom of Information Act shall be prohibited.
(Source: P.A. 96-1483, eff. 12-1-10.)

That is the language and your “argument” is that the statute only prohibits a municipality from disclosing the performance review to the press, to Joe lunchbox, or to any other third party that decides to draft a FOIA request BUT it allows that same municipality (without the public employees consent) to disclose that same performance evaluation to the press, to Joe lunchbox, or to another third party by posting it on the city webpage or blabbing it at an open meeting?!

Your legal logic is baffling -thank goodness the council were smart enough to nix your law firms application to become city atty.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Of course it’s “baffling” to you because you’re the knucklehead who cited a case that was decided prior to the enactment of Section 11 of the PRRA – and involved the FOIA-based production of a written evaluation of an employee whose formal evaluation was conducted in closed session and thereby protected from disclosure by IOMA.

And if you read Stern v. Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School Dist. 200, 384 Ill.App.3d 615 (2d Dist. 2008), you’ll find that court disregarding the Copley decision.

You’re lost in the funhouse, Silly. Declare it “Miller Time” and go drown your many sorrows.

Fun house’s are great …at misdirection …like you!

That is the language and your “argument” is that the statute only prohibits a municipality from disclosing the performance review to the press, to Joe lunchbox, or to any other third party that decides to draft a FOIA request BUT it allows that same municipality (without the public employees consent) to disclose that same performance evaluation to the press, to Joe lunchbox, or to another third party by posting it on the city webpage or blabbing it at an open meeting?!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Wrong…again.

Sounds like you may have started “Miller Time” awhile ago.

The Wheaton case is about disclosure of a superintendents Employment CONTRACT not about a performance evaluation.
Geez. Talk about someone hitting the Miller or in your case Pabst Blue Ribbon! Cheers dog!!!! Lol

EDITOR’S NOTE: A “CONTRACT” for which FOIA exemption was sought because it was in the superintendent’s personnel file – like an evaluation in a personnel file.

It’s called analogy.

1. Disclosure of performance evaluations in response to FOIA request is prohibited;

2. The Council’s disclosure of Hamilton’s evaluations was not in response to a FOIA request;

3. The PRRA does not trump IOMA; and

4. IOMA permits the discussion of employment evaluations in open session.
Your words above dog…
So your logic is that there is a specific statute prohibiting a municipality from disclosing a performance review in response to a foia request.
But then you go on to say that the open meetings act that at best is silent on the issue ALLOWS the city to disclose that same performance review to the public at a meeting or on a website like PR did to Hamilton?

Why avoiding the question?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Can you pretend that you’re playing Jeopardy and make sure your answer is in the form of a lucid question?

There is nothing specific in the open meetings act that expressly allows discussion of performance evaluations …but there is something specific in the personnel records act that prohibits disclosure of performance evaluations.
Specific trumps the general and Springfield often forgets to make sure related issues are consistent in different statutes. Bad drafting maybe but intent to protect performance evaluations is there and you would rather risk the city violating the law than just admit you are wrong and those going into close sessions for such things were simply following the law.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The PRRA expressly prohibits disclosure of evaluations in response to a FOIA request. And closed sessions are never required under IOMA.

So you’re wrong again.

I can’t think of any positives coming from a public evaluation of anyone. Whether posting the evaluation is legal or not is for lawyers to dicker about. And we’ve seen some of that back and forth here in the blog. Why would we want to see this one individual’s evaluation and not the evaluations of every other city employee? Because some might consider the role similar to that of a corporate CEO? If so, then the council might be comparable to the Board of Directors. I think we need to focus on the city in the most positive ways possible. What would typically happen to a company’s stock (figuratively and literally) if a Board of Directors publicly attacks the work of their CEO? I think confidence in the organization would fall and so would the stock price. Evaluations take place in public and private organizations routinely. No one walks into an evaluation with delight because they know that there is no way they kicked ass everyday since their last evaluation. Typically one might expect some references to good work completed and some things that could be done better. Which of us would gladly volunteer to have their evaluations publicly posted?

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Why would we want to see this one individual’s evaluation and not the evaluations of every other city employee?” Because as best as we can tell the only City staff member the Council has the right to hire and fire is the City Mgr., so his is the only Council evaluation that that is conducted and is relevant to the Council’s management of City staff.

As to the rest of your comment: Kumbaya.

If you are a public employee you should have no expectation that your salary, your pension and your performance become public knowledge. That should come with the territory of a steady paycheck by an employer that won’t go out of business or move to Mexico. You don’t like it? Get a private sector job for a company that can go out of business or move to Mexico.

“That should come with the territory of a steady paycheck by an employer that won’t go out of business or move to Mexico.” This position assumes public employees can never lose their jobs due to downsizing, cost reduction efforts, or poor performance. That’s simply false. No one accepts a public sector job in exchange for giving up their rights to privacy. Are you really jealous of the pay and benefits received by public employees? There’s a difference between serving the public through your employment and being a servant.

PRRA expressly prohibits disclosure of evaluations in response to a FOIA request. And closed sessions are never required under IOMA.

so you think a city can avoid the prohibition of disclosing a public employees evaluation under FOIA simply by proactively posting it on the city website and talking about it in public? Doesn’t that render the prohibition under FOIA meaningless? Aren’t statutes supposed to be read so as not to make other statutes meaningless? You are stretching. The law was enacted in 2010 for some purpose right? Presumably to protect the privacy of the employee (right or wrong it is now a law and until overturned must be obeyed) – your interpretatio allows the city to choose to ignore that intended privacy by deciding to hold the evaluation in public. Suppose the evaluation is made public and suppose a citizen didn’t realize it was made public but submitted a foia request for the evaluation. Should that foia request be denied? Even though the evaluation had already been posted on the website. Seems to render the 2010 statute meaningless and courts won’t go for that. Oh well additional taxes for a legal fight -thanks pubdog.

EDITOR’S NOTE: No, we think that Section 11 only applies to FOIA requests because it was enacted in 2010 expressly with regard only to FOIA requests. That’s what Section 11 says, and far be it for us to try to figure out what the morons in Springfield – who couldn’t manage a sidewalk card-table lemonade stand but get to mismanage our state’s multi-billion dollar budget – meant by it other than what it says.

But we’d gladly revisit our opinion after hearing the new City Attorney’s reasoning behind her opinion, except that she wants to hide her opinion in closed session where we – and all the other taxpayers who pay for her services – won’t be able to hear it.

Hopefully our transaparent Council won’t let her steamroll them into hiding from their constituents.

I’m not a lawyer but if the state legislature wanted to prevent all disclosures of evaluations, it would not have limited the prohibition just to responses to FOIA requests. And there is no reason for the city attorney to demand closed session discussion of this situation after the previous city attorney and the current HR director approved the open session city manager reviews for the last few years. This kind of hiding is wrong.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yep.

if the state legislature wanted to prevent all disclosures of evaluations, it would not have limited the prohibition just to responses to FOIA requests.

You mean the same morons that can’t manage a lemonade stand would have had the clarity of thought to be as specific as you suggest?! Or they messed up intending to provide the privacy the plain language seems to offer but drafted it in typical bonehead fashion. Either way Park Ridge may get stung by the courts if challenged.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, those morons.

If there were a good chance “Park Ridge may get stung by the courts if challenged,” the City Attorney should say that…IN OPEN SESSION where everybody can hear it rather than in closed session where she can tell her scary stories in secret and without fear of having b.s. called on her.

Responding to 05.28.16 at 2:33 pm

That statement assumes public employees will rarely, if ever, lose their jobs from the main reasons so many people in the private sector lose theirs, including incompetence.

GOvernment salaries are public information, so everyone who accepts a public job gives up the privacy of his salary.

And yes, I am jealous of government employees with no risks and no accountability making what I’ve been making but that will get pensions at 58 or 60 in excess of both my social security payment if I hold off drawing it until 66 and what my 401k would pay me IF it was worth at least $2 million, which it isn’t.

Do we know for certain that HR did not tell or inform the Council that the evaluation should be done in closed session and the Council said poo poo anyway? Some currently on the Council were here when Hamilton was hired. I would think a simple FOIA could answer that. Have you seen anything Pubdog?

EDITOR’S NOTE: As we recall and understand it, the former city attorney – while noting that our mayor and council were unique in their desire for a transparent and accountable open-session evaluations of the city’s top employee, and the publication of his evaluations – did not advise of any illegality of that process. And the HR director said nothing to the contrary, or even raised a question to that city attorney’s opinion.

Responding to: BY 5/26 AT 7:15 AM ON 05.30.16 12:09 PM

It’s clear your envy clouds your ability to rationally discuss such matters. I suspect that anyone who makes more money than you is undeserving in some way. If you think that public employment is so lucrative and lacking in risk taking and accountability you might want change careers. You make it sound great! Why should you be held back from achieving? There’s an opening for a City Manager that just opened up.

EDITOR’S NOTE: 05.30.16 at 12:09 PM can speak for him/herself if he/she chooses.

Meanwhile, we’ll point out the obvious (except to you, Silly): perhaps the best way to determine that public employment IS a sweet deal is to look at how many people hired by one gov’t employer spend their entire careers with that same employer – at least until they reach all those early retirement ages (55-56-57) and get themselves another public-sector job that let’s them double dip, even if it means crossing the border (a la fmr. city mgr. Tim Schuenke) to do so.

Why?

1. Because incompetent and/or underachieving employees, if they’re in a union, basically can’t get fired for their incompetence or underachievement.

2. Because they’re paid as well or better than what they’d be paid for their incompetence and underachievement in the private sector.

3. Because there is no risk that their public employer will move out of state or out of the country.

4. Last but not least, because of those golden guaranteed pensions that beat the bejeezus out of social security AND 401(k)s combined, with health care benefits that kick Medicare’s derriere.

1 & 2 are simply incorrect. Public and private employees are evaluated in similar fashions. Privately employed citzens do not go through some sort of extra rigor when being evaluated. In most cases there IS NO clear private sector role that matches directly with public sector employment, yet there will always be someone willing to attempt to make the “comparison” leap. While 3, (employers moving out of state or country) can happen to privately employed citizens, the reality is that most of our citizens are not impacted by these maneuvers. And, if they were how is the public sector employee to blame? Number 4 is interesting. Public employees often belong to one form of qualified pension program or another. Often they are participants on 403b programs as well (subject to the fluctuations of the market). Just as most contribute to Social Security, the public employee contributes to their pension and deserves their return on this investment. Your frustration is that the matching dollars on pensions come from the taxes paid by citizens (what you percieve as YOUR dollars). The truth is, it is also YOUR dollars that are paying the employer’s matching side of Social Security. That money is simply built into the inflated price of every purchase you make, so the private sector employer has the funds to contribute.

The points made above are honest. You can hype them up to upset people, but the root of their upset remains being envious of others that they consider belonging to a lower social rank.

We should all have pensions! We’ve known that Social Security was going to be a problem for decades, and should have collectively demanded more responsible actions from private sector employers, and the government that has so happily supported our involvement in the “World Economy.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Cut the “Feel the Bern” and “You didn’t build that!” socialist nonsense!

Public employment, especially in the state of Illinois, is about the least accountable, least risky, least demanding employment available. And the local poster girl for that proposition is the D-64 teacher who scammed D-64’s taxpayers out of free tuition for her non-resident children and didn’t get fired.

More nonsense is comparing those golden government pensions with Social Security benefits when the former are constitutionally guaranteed – often at double (or triple, or more) the maximum SS benefit, with a 3% COLA despite CPI – and can usually be taken at ages 55-58 v. 66 or 70 for SS. Oh, and especially when those pensions now come with above-market wages rather than to compensate for below-market wages.

Your points are about as “honest” as Trump’s tax returns, or anything Hillary Clinton says.

To piggyback on something the Editor said in his last statement, those pensions are constitutionally guaranteed. What that means, among other things, is that if the stock market goes down and the holdings in the pension fund drop below a predefined number, we the taxpayers have to make up the difference in the pension fund balance (for these public employees). Last I checked, these same taxpayers also lost a similar percentage of money in their own (private sector) retirement funds, yet no one is there to bail them out like they have to do for the public sector folks. Thanks a bunch, Illinois Legislature.

So, yes Silly Drivel, it is quite a sweet deal for public sector employees in the State of Illinois.

While state pensions are constitutionally guaranteed the state has not fully funded their portion in decades. You guys seem to be of the mindset that since someone screwed you In some way, everyone should get screwed. Bernie is da’ man!

EDITOR’S NOTE: And the recklessly corrupt public sector unions didn’t care because their corrupt Dem (and a few Repub) politician buddies were able to divert the money to fund those pensions into paying higher salaries to the public employees, who also didn’t care if their pensions were grossly underfunded because the benefits are constitutionally guaranteed.

So only the non-public employee taxpayers ended up getting screwed.

I believe that public employees are tax payers too. What?? Are we back to complaining about public employees making a living? There is absolutely no evidence to support that public employees are paid more than they should be. In truth, you’d pay them all under 30k if you get away with it. Which is exactly why the unions are an absolute necessity. It’s the greed of the wealthy and powerful that originally brought about the need for the unions. Thanks conservatives, republicans, Trump supporters, and other angry wealthy people!

EDITOR’S NOTE: PRIVATE SECTOR UNIONS were needed to level the playing/bargaining field in a free-market capitalistic system where the owners/employers held a totally dominant position, and those PRIVATE SECTOR UNIONS did that. PUBLIC SECTOR UNIONS, on the other hand, were born of the unholy desire of politicians to corrupt government workers through collusion to create a socialistic system where the unions’ and politicians’ interests dominate the taxpayers’.

Which is why most true trade unionists (e.g., private sector) don’t consider public sector unions “real” unions – except when they’re trying to use their political clout.

I think you hit the nail on the head about the city attorney wanting to hide her discussion of the PRRA in closed session where she can steamroll and intimidate the aldermen into going along with whatever she says.

Right now the only employee who could sue the city about any PRRA violation would be Hamilton, and that ship has sailed because his reviews are already done. If he’s going to sue he can, and whatever the city attorney says in open or closed session is not going to change that. So why hide?

I remember that back in 2008 then-alderman Dave Schmidt won the Sunshine Troublemaker Of The Week Award for blowing the whistle on closed session misdeeds by then-mayor Howard Frimark. You can read about it here: https://openrecords.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/david-schmidt-sunshine-troublemaker-of-the-week/. I would like to see mayor Maloney, other aldermen, and our other units of local government start winning that award, if it is still being given out. If not, they still should do what Schmidt did to frustrate anybody that wants to hid local government from us taxpayers.

I think you hit the nail on the head about the city attorney wanting to hide her discussion of the PRRA in closed session where she can steamroll and intimidate the aldermen into going along with whatever she says.

Paranoid much?
What motive does this new city attorney have to steamroll our aldermen? Maybe just maybe she is giving her honest legal opinion of what the ordinance means. Isn’t it her job to insulate the city from liability? Now we are questioning her motives just because her interpretation disagrees with pubdog’s? Come on.

EDITOR’S NOTE: There’s an old saying: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t watching you.”

6.3.16 6:28 AM here.

I’m “questioning her motives” because she wants to hide the justification of her “honest legal opinion” in closed session. If she wants to be honest let it do so out in the open where we taxpayers can hear it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: And her motive for “steamrolling” our aldermen – in a closed session – is that it becomes a lot harder for her to continue to pander to the anti-transparency of all the other elected officials in all the other communities she represents if she lets our aldermen get away with their transparent open-session evaluations of our city manager.

that it becomes a lot harder for her to continue to pander to the anti-transparency of all the other elected officials in all the other communities she represents if she lets our aldermen get away with their transparent open-session evaluations of our city manager.

Again she would have no personal motive or interest in pushing closed sessions over open sessions – does she make more money or gain more prestige by advocating for closed sessions? That’s ridiculous. Many in the legal community are conservative and interpret statutes strictly to protect from liability. Can’t fault her for that. If our aldermen want to ignore what some read as unambiguous language that certain things like evaluations should be in closed sessions try can have at it -but it is the city lawyers job to fully inform them of the potential consequences (and advising them of the potential consequences in open session will likely give some litigious former and current city employees a road map for a lawsuit).

Stop attacking the person with phony hypothetical sinister motives and admit that there is a legitimate disagreement in the legal community over whether certain things should be in closed session to insulate from potential liability. Remember HITA begins with honesty. Be honest please.

EDITOR’S NOTE: She has the exact same motive for “pushing closed sessions over open sessions” that elected and appointed officials do: hiding what she says from the people who are paying her salary.

The PRRA expressly states that “disclosure of performance evaluations under the Freedom of Information Act shall be prohibited.” That clear, unequivocal and unambiguous language is NOT subject to “legtimate disagreement” in “the legal community” or in any other community except, perhaps, where English is a second language.

There are only two possible “litigious former and current city employees” to whom this law could apply: former CM Jim Hock and newly-former CM Shawn Hamilton. And we suspect the statute of limitations has already run on any claim that could be filed by Hock, so that leaves only Hamilton – who shouldn’t need any “road map for a lawsuit” if what the Council did truly is a violation of anything.

Finally, if “honesty” is so important to you, why not start by posting under your own name?

Ralph Waldo Emerson also said:

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Nifty quote, Silly, but neither this blog nor its editor has ever claimed to be “persecuted.” So it seems that you can’t even find a relevant quote.

Poor Silly.

Or, it’s simply her opinion that the city could be open to litigation of evaluations are made public. Making a calculated decision to discuss legal matters in private doesn’t provide evidence a conspiracy is in the works. The lack of evidence isn’t evidence. Intelligent management should defer to the judgement of the legal experts they employ, not the muckraking ramblings of Monday morning quarterbacks.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A “lack of evidence” IS evidence…that no evidence exists to prove one’s point.

“[I]ntelligent management” NEVER “should defer to the judgment” of ANY “expert,” legal or otherwise. As former British prime minister Harold MacMillan sagely noted decades ago: “We have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down for the divine right of experts.” And as our own Colin Powell pointed out: “Experts often possess more data than judgment.”

But if you want real-time evidence of the foolishness of deferring to “experts,” look no further that the Lincoln-Way school district and the idiot school board members who, for decades, constantly deferred to Supt. Wyllie as he was driving that school district into the ground:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/daily-southtown/news/ct-sta-lawrence-wyllie-lincoln-way-st-0605-20160603-story.html

Or you can just watch Tony Borrelli and his sycophants on the D-64 School Board race to salute everything Supt. Laurie Heinz runs up the flagpole.

into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.

Your statements are that you feel the city attorney is doing something sinister and intentionally hurting the taxpayers in the process (hence the analogy to persecution) simply because her interpretation of when closed sessions are appropriate (personnel matters, potential litigation attorney client privilege etc) contradicts your miopic interpretation. Poor pubdog- you need that explained to you?! Do you also need your oatmeal fed to you to avoid making a mess? Geez

EDITOR’S NOTE: No, Silly, the City Attorney is trying to scare our aldermen into abandoning their commitment to H.I.T.A. so that she can have political cover with her other gov’t clients who, unlike our Council, are anti-H.I.T.A. and to whom she most likely has been pandering with her baseless interpretation of Section 11 of the PRRA.

Unlike toothless oatmeal eaters like yourself, our taste runs to steak…and we’ve got the teeth to chew it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: No, Silly, the City Attorney is trying to scare our aldermen into abandoning their commitment to H.I.T.A. so that she can have political cover with her other gov’t clients who, unlike our Council, are anti-H.I.T.A. and to whom she most likely has been pandering with her baseless interpretation of Section 11 of the PRRA.

And you know this how? You have looked up all the other municipalities she does work for and then reviewed the statistics of how often they each go into closed sessions and further studied whether they did so at her request or on their own?! So you are calling her a person who would disregard her honest opinion of the law (bc of course only your interpretation cold be correct) simply not to anger her clients. Or are you just guessing and making sh@t up to meet your agenda?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our “agenda” has always been transparency and accountability, which historically had been anathema to the pre-Mayor Schmidt city councils – and remains anathema to both our local school boards, as well as to so many other municipalities and boards that the former city attorney, a career municipal attorney of much longer tenure than Ms. Tappendorf’s, deemed our council “a unique outfit” with a “real healthy antipathy” toward closed sessions.

But if her opinion of Section 11 of the PRRA is so “honest,” she shouldn’t insist on hiding it in closed sessions that IOMA never requires.

Dog, you are an attorney. What do you tell clients when they opt to go against your advice? Do you quote old British prime ministers, and tell them to just go for it because that’s what patriots do? I suspect you’d tell them they could do as they wish, yet somehow you’d let them know they are idiots too.

EDITOR”S NOTE: My clients are private individuals and corporations, not public ones.

And for those private corporation clients, I never advise the officers and directors to conceal information from the shareholders – which is what a closed session does to the taxpayers.

As to the article you posted, that school district being investigated was purportedly achieving what you pubdog keep advocating, namely.

“card for decades was that it often spent less than other districts per pupil, but scored high on tests. Bill Borgo, the former mayor of Manhattan, said Lincoln-Way was “what every taxpayer dreams of.”

Maybe the lesson from your article is that the combination of spending less than other school districts yet scoring higher is something that can only be achieved if fraud is occurring.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An even more retarded conclusion that normal, Silly. You’ve just demonstrated, again, that you’d fit right into our current local school boards – if you’re not already a member.

And you know this how? You have looked up all the other municipalities she does work for and then reviewed the statistics of how often they each go into closed sessions and further studied whether they did so at her request or on their own?!

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Knowledge is knowing that we cannot know.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Actually originally Socrates quote:

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
Socrates

But in your case you just guess and speculate and demean …just means you don’t know and your an ….well you get the picture.
More like forest gump for you pubdog
Stupid is as stupid says…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Since there’s no chance in the world Tappendorf will admit to pandering to her other muni clients, we have to build an argument on circumstantial evidence. We’re comfortable with that, just like you’re comfortable with closed sessions and all the non-accountability that comes with it.

But you are right about our willingness to demean public officials who sell out the taxpayers and enable career bureaucrats to get away with incompetence and outright ripping-off of the taxpayers; and to demean freeloaders and parasites who consider “goverment” some uber-rich and indulgent uncle while knowing that their non uber-rich neighbors are actually the ones paying the freight.

And we do enjoy mocking gutless anonymous clowns like yourself.

By my count Silly Drivel has 21 out of 33 comments and none of them make much sense. But after having grown up in Chicago and then living in Niles, both places where the city attorneys were just tools of the mayors and regularly rubber stamped closed sessions on controversial matters. How refreshing when I moved to Park Ridge five years ago and saw how much better and more transparent this city operated.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Which is why it’s “unique” among Chicagoland municipalities.

Circumstantial evidence ?! Where?
You have not responded whether you researched her other clients to see if they go into closed session more than PR or others where she is not city attorney. Look up definition of circumstantial it does not include speculation and guessing which is what you are doing on this issue.

And pubdog actually mislabeled several posts as silly drivel that were not me. Guess his spyware is letting him down.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Black’s Law Dictionary defines circumstantial evidence as: “Evidence based on inference and not on personal knowledge or obaservation.”

All of your posts are “silly drivel.” But if those are not yours, prove it.

Several comments I’ve made anonymously have been posted as Silly Drivel. I hope my positions made Drivel proud.

EDITOR’S NOTE: They were dumb enough to make Silly Drivel “proud.” But as for your being other than him/her, we raise the same challenge: “Prove it!”

God help your clients if you are relying on blacks law dictionary as opposed to researching case law. But then again you refuse to research your claims as to the city attorney relationship with other municipalities as opposed to your pure speculation.

Try reading these cases which contradict you by my reading of them but I’m just a lowly school board member, or park board member -you seem to call me all kinds of stuff based on my disagreements with you:

A fact cannot be established through circumstantial evidence unless the circumstances are so related to each other that it is the only probable, and not merely possible, conclusion that may be drawn. Keating v. 68th and Paxton, L.L.C., 401 Ill. App. 3d 456, 473-75 (2010). Illinois law is clear that proper inference cannot be based on mere conjecture or speculation as to what possibly happened, the circumstantial facts must be of such a nature and so related as to make the conclusion reached more probable as opposed to merely possible. Majetich v. P.T. Ferro Const. Co., 389 Ill. App. 3d 220, 226-27 (2009); Thacker v. UNR Industries, Inc., 151 Ill. 2d 343, 354 (1992)(proof which relies upon mere conjecture or speculation is insufficient).

Your whole premise of what and why the city attorney made her recommendations is based on conjecture and guess. You refuse to research the other municipalities closed session meetings. look up “clueless” in your dictionary and bet you find yourself there. Geez.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Just to clear up any confusion, your “lowly” quality is your intellect. Which Board you dumb down with your presence, on the other hand, is mere speculation on our part.

Our “whole premise of what and why the city attorney made her recommendations” is based on: (a) the patently over-broad interpretation of a statute that on its face applies only to FOIA requests, apparently based merely on her speculation in the absence of any case authority; (b) her even more egregious expansion of that opinion to intrude on the province of IOMA by applying it to open-meeting evaluations; (c) her desire to conceal her explanation in closed session where only one other lawyer would be present to challenge her explanation, which would not be subject to dissection by other attorneys; and (d) the presumption that the foregoing foibles aren’t the product of stupidity or ignorance and, therefore, must be the product of deceit.

Actually you accused the city attorney of not honestly believing the interpretation she put forth. And you have no evidence -circumstantial or otherwise- to support your speculative accusation.
Here is your quote :

And her motive for “steamrolling” our aldermen – in a closed session – is that it becomes a lot harder for her to continue to pander to the anti-transparency of all the other elected officials in all the other communities she represents if she lets our aldermen get away with their transparent open-session evaluations of our city manager.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We previously gave your our four criteria for suggesting that she’s being dishonest in order to pander to all her other muni clients whose elected officials – like the members of our two school boards – want to hide in closed session whenever possible so that they they can avoid accountability.

And of course she won’t admit to being dishonest, just like you won’t admit to being of low intelligence and a member of some local Board for whose agenda of opacity and unaccountability you are anonymously shilling.

And of course she won’t admit to being dishonest,

So we can assume that you won’t admit to being dishonest in your posts?

EDITOR’S NOTE: We would if we were, but we don’t because we’re not.

We talk and walk H.I.T.A. while you’re not even capable of identifying yourself. So we can understand how H.I.T.A. is a foreign concept to you.

The general rule contained in FOIA remains that all “public records” in the possession of “public bodies” are subject to disclosure, unless covered by an exemption.

Exemptions
Sections 7 and 7.5 of the FOIA (5 ILCS 140/7, 7.5) contain approximately 45 separate exemptions. Specifically, section 7.5’s “Statutory Exemptions” contains independent statutes exempting information from disclosure under FOIA in order to protect the privacy and confidentiality of specific types of information. Section 7 contains exemptions including “private information” (5 ILCS 140/7(b)), “personal information” (any information where the subject’s right to privacy outweighs any legitimate public interest in disclosure) (5 ILCS 140/7(c)), records created in the course of administrative enforcement proceedings (5 ILCS 140/7(d)), and “preliminary drafts, notes, recommendations, memoranda and other records in which opinions are expressed, or policies or actions are formulated[.]” 5 ILCS 140/7(f). Also exempted from disclosure are performance evaluations for all public employees. 5 ILCS 140/7.5(q); 820 ILCS 40/11

So pubdog are you saying that any of the information listed in any of the above FOIA exemptions is prohibited from being disclosed under a FOIA request but if the public body decides to voluntarily disclose any of the above listed information during a public meeting there would be no violation?

Why would it be prohibited under FOIA unless it was also prohibited from disclosure under other circumstances?

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are talking about on provision of the PRRA, Section 11, not all of FOIA; and Section 11 expressly limits the production of evaluations in response to FOIA requests. It says nothing about discussions of the very same subject matter during a Council meeting governed not by FOIA but by IOMA.

And let us reiterate: We’d be delighted to be educated on the topic by Ms. Tappendorf, if only she wasn’t insisting on depriving us and the rest of Park Ridge taxpayers of such education by running into, and hiding, in closed session.

We would if we were, but we don’t because we’re not.

Is that an old man’s version of I’m rubber and your glue?
So the city attorney would if she were, but she doesn’t so she’s not. Amazing logic. If good for you old gander should be good for our city attorney too. No?
You seem to get more whacky when you skip your geritol old dog.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Nope, the City Attorney has a duty of transparency and accountability that we don’t have. Which is why you can get away with your gutless anonymous carping here even though you would have to identify yourself and appear on camera for the equivalent carping before the City Council, school boards, Library Board, etc.

I understand your section 11 argument but what I quoted about has another citation that says evaluations should not be disclosed separate from section 11:

Also exempted from disclosure are performance evaluations for all public employees. 5 ILCS 140/7.5(q)

EDITOR’S NOTE: PRRA Sec. 11 is the contolling rule re documents containing information constituting a performance evaluation.

Nevertheless, IOMA permits public officials to publicly discuss any issues that were raised in closed sessions. See Swanson v. Board of Police Comm’rs, 197 Ill. App. 3d 592, 555 N.E.2d 35, 144 Ill. Dec. 138 (2nd Dist. 1990)”There is nothing in the Act that provides a cause of action against a public body for disclosing information from a closed meeting.”); and 1991 Ill. Atty. Gen. Op. 1 (“[P]ublic bodies do not have such authority” to sanction one of their members for disclosing closed-session information).

And these are additional reasons why we belief Tappendorf is wrong.

You are citing to 1990 and 1991 cases when the section 11 amendment came into existence in 2010?!
You also didn’t answer the question about 7.5(q). You just ignored it. Maybe you are wrong and city attorney is right. She seems to keep up with amendments in the law and doesn’t seem so tied to the dictionary. Lol

EDITOR’S NOTE: We cite to that case and that AG opinion because, as best as we can tell, there are no cases or AG opinions about Section 11 that would support the City Attorney’s advice to the Council about doing the city manager’s evaluation in open-session meetings.

FOIA Section 7.5(q) references Section 11: “Information prohibited from being disclosed by the Personnel Records Review Act.”

It would be nice if the City Attorney was right, but most people who are right – and know it – don’t try to hide it in a closed session meeting.

It as was discussed several miles back, it is probable that she is right. This, her advice has nothing to do with your beloved HITAAAA, and everything to to with protecting the city (and our money) from the down side of such actions. The council made their decision in this situation, and they don’t seem to be the sort that is easily scared (as you have described Tippendorf as trying to scare them.). HiTTAAAA and other acronyms have ther place, just not this place.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “[I]t is probable that she is right” WHY, exactly?

Her advice has everything to do with H.I.T.A., which is why she should be explaining it out in the open rather than trying to scare the Council into closed session by suggesting – as you also are trying to do – that a closed-session explanation of her opinion is necessary to “protecting the city (and our money).”

Jefferson said: “Error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it.”

By hiding in closed session, Tappendorf appears to be trying not only to conceal her error but, also, to deprive reason of the opportunity for honest combat.

why she should be explaining it out in the open rather than trying to scare the Council into closed session by suggesting – as you also are trying to do – that a closed-session explanation of her opinion is necessary to “protecting the city (and our money).”

Did you just quote above a case and attorney general opinion that aldermen are free to disclose closed session information without any cause of action to be had against them? So why do you keep kicking the city attorney? If the aldermen think you are right they should disclose what they heard in closed session to the public. Are you saying they are mindless and spineless and can’t stand up to scary scary julie?

Just cause you seen intimidated by her doesn’t mean the council is too. I’m thinking your opinion is not shared by the council otherwise they would disclose what julie told them, especially if the issue is so clear cut as you argue.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes we did, because there appear to be no other AG or case decisions even that close to being on point.

And we “keep kicking the city attorney” because she’s knowingly and intentionally trying to intimidate and manipulate non-lawyers into giving her the non-public forum she cannot get by herself.

There has not yet been a closed-session meeting about Section 11 of the PRRA because Hamilton’s resignation mooted the issue, at least temporarily. So we’re trying to promote an ounce of prevention (no closed-session meeting) over a pound of cure (aldermen having to understand, remember and disclose what Tappendorf said in the closed-session meeting).

If you are correct and there is no legal repercussions for disclosing closed session information then why aren’t you pushing for our aldermen to disclose the legal advice the city attorney gave in closed session? Are you calling them mindless or spineless individuals who can’t stand up to scary julie? Or maybe they disagree with you and you are alone in your miopic interpretation?

Go ahead challenge the alderman to stand up for HITA and stand up to mean ole scary julie.

EDITOR’S NOTE: See Editor’s Note to your previous silly and misinformed comment.

That might explain Tappendorf’s desire to hide her reasoning in closed session, where the only alderman who might have the legal chops to challenge her opinions and advice is Ald. Nick Milissis, an attorney. But with Milissis’ expertise concentrated primarily in national security and terrorism matters, he likely would not be able to go toe-to-toe with Tappendorf on a matter such as this.

So you said (see your words above) that the city attorney has a desire to explain this in closed session. She is an attorney representing a client. It’s the clients decision whether to waive attorney client privilege not the lawyer. And your argument that the aldermen would have to “understand, remember, and disclose” so the attorney should be preemptive and do it for them makes the council sound like they can’t walk and chew gum at same time. Why are you selling them short ? they can’t understand something you argue is very straight forward then maybe they shouldn’t be aldermen. they could take notes right? Or maybe they all agree with the city attorney and your the one trying to blow smoke? You really are stretching with “remember, understand, and disclose” lol what next you might want them to “think” then understand then remember then talk lol. !!

EDITOR’S NOTE: More than 35 years of trying cases has taught me that nobody can remember everything that is being said in even a 10-minute discussion and then repeat it verbatim – much less do it with all the pauses, inflections and expressions that nuance most face-to-face conversations.

If Tappendorf wants to defend opinions that defy the express language of Section 11 and then extend them to IOMA-governed open-session meeting, she should have the courage and confidence to do it in open session rather than asking to hide them in closed session by scaring non-lawyers into thinking they have screwed the City by their conduct over the past few years.

The journal reported about a recent closed session(see quote below). Again if aldermen agree with you that there is no harm in disclosing closed session info , let them disclose away! Id like to know what was said at the closed session mentioned below.

They spent as much time in open session, debating the merits of closed session, as they eventually took in closed session in the council chambers.

A week ago, when Ald. Nick Milissis (2nd) was absent, Simon’s colleague, Julie Tappendorf, had warned the council that it should not be conducting employee evaluations in open sessions, which are broadcast live and had been posted permanently on the city website.

Milissis, who had often sided with Schmidt on discussing potentially sensitive matters in open sessions, voted against going into closed session to evaluate potential senior staffers for the interim position.

The other six, having learned May 16 of legal risks, established in a 2010 state ordinance, agreed they needed to talk in private. Hamilton was invited to stay to answer questions, before he departed at 9 p.m.

The council opened the chamber doors at 9:40 p.m. and voted, 7-0, to have Gilmore serve as interim city manager.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “The other six, having learned May 16 of legal risks, established in a 2010 state ordinance, agreed they needed to talk in private. Hamilton was invited to stay to answer questions, before he departed at 9 p.m.”

So if this account is accurate, the only attorney on the Council was the only alderman that Tappendorf didn’t scare into closed session.

Proves our point.

The lawyer was absent and therefore didn’t know about the discussion. Once he learned about it he (to date) has remained silent too not disclosing what he heard in that closed session. Proving my point that now that the alderman are apprised of the law they will not discuss with public. Your the cheese that is standing alone on this.

And you didn’t answer my question – why aren’t any of the aldermen (the lawyer or non lawyers) coming forward to tell the public what occurred in closed session?? Bc the city attorney is right and now that they have “listened, understood (including the lawyer)” they are keeping closed session to themselves.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We understand that Tappendorf’s opinion about Section 11 wasn’t discussed in that closed session. Nice try at turning your ignorance, and a half-baked “news” story, into alternate truth.

The lackluster journalist reporting for the journal and topics who for some reason is not a fan of mine, reported it as if though the only reason I voted against the closed session was because I had missed the last session and the advice the attorney gave.

It was a conscious decision on my part and in line with mine and Mayor Dave’s philosophy. I voted against the closed session knowing and having read the minutes from the previous session which included the attorney’s opinion.

If the journalist had bothered to report on my reasoning, which I gave during comments on the motion to go to closed session the public would know. Instead she went with, “oh he just wasn’t here so he didn’t understand that you have to go into closed session”. Lazy and sloppy or intentional and part of her ongoing efforts to just pretend I’m not there.

What I said was that if the reason we’re going into closed session is to not offend any staff members because we’ll be discussing whether we think they can be appointed acting city manager and whether they can do the job, I don’t find it compelling enough of a reason to justify what I view as the extreme measure of a closed session. I said that I had no problem telling Department Heads in person whether I thought they could do the job or not and have done so both in open session in the past and to them in person, so why would I change that now?

Silly Drivel, what was discussed in closed session was who each alderman thought their choice for acting would be and everyone to a person said Joe Gillmore, one of Hsmilton’s best hires. We also discussed giving him a pay bump for his increased responsibilities and how long we thought the process would take to hire the permanent (most say up to a year).

Ald millissis -will Gilbert’s evaluation be posted online or discussed in open session? Hamiltons was removed from the website. Are you in favor of that?
Also is the city attorney scaring you into doing something you don’t approve of as pubdog suggests?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Who is “Gilbert”?

I found this on the Illinois attorney general’s website. It warns against disclosing certain confidential information discussed in closed session. It says disclosure of non-confidential info is ok but if the closed session information is confidential there are porential penalties.

“Disclosure of Matters Discussed in Closed Sessions

A public body cannot sanction one of its members for disclosing information or issues discussed in a closed meeting of that body. The possibility of imposing such sanctions “would only serve as an obstacle to the effective enforcement of the Act, and a shield behind which opponents of open government could hide.” Ill. Att’y Gen. Op. No. 91-001, issued January 31, 1991. Further, the Illinois Appellate Court has noted that “there is nothing in the Act that provides a cause of action against a public body for disclosing information from a closed meeting.” Swanson v. Board of Police Commissioners, 197 Ill. App. 3d 592, 609 (2nd Dist. 1990).

Nonetheless, members of a public body should deal very carefully with confidential information that may be brought before the body in the course of a closed session. Reasons for maintaining the confidentiality of certain information will likely exist if the matter was proper for discussion in a closed session. For example, information which is damaging to the reputation of an employee if divulged publicly could conceivably provide the basis for legal action against an individual board member or the board as a whole.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Without a link we can’t verify.

Scroll to page 18 (not numbered) where entitled in bold disclosure of matters discussed in closed session. This is the training that attorney general supervises.
http://iadd.info/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/OMATraining.pdf

Also
Page 28 and 29 of the following warns about disclosure of confidential information
https://www3.rps205.com/District/Pages/openmeet.pdf

I think all alderman are required to take this training annually so they should be aware of the attorney general cautioning of disclosing confidential information from closed session or face potential penalties.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The focus of both of those discussions is “confidential information.” We are unaware of any AG opinion or Illinois case deterimining that giving reasons for the compensation, discipline or termination of a public employee is, in and of itself, “confidential information.”

Who is “Gilbert”?
Comic strip I think you are older than me you should know
I meant happy Gilmore
Will alderman Milissis be in favor of posting his evaluation online and re-posting hamilton’s (not Alexander) back online?

EDITOR’S NOTE: the alderman can speak for himself, but we would imagine that might depend on how legit or bogus the City Attorney’s explanation of her opinion turns out.



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