Public Access Opinion 18-003

City Must Respond To FOIA Request, Even if Records Were Already Given in Response to Prior Request

Freedom of Information Act - FOIA
Case: Public Access Opinion 18-003
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The PAC found that the City of East St. Louis (“City”) violated Section 3(b) of FOIA when it failed to respond to a FOIA request seeking information about the meeting schedule of a City employee. The City Clerk told the PAC that it had not responded to the request, but had already provided the responsive records to the requester in response to a prior FOIA request from the same requester. The Clerk said that she would forward the request to City’s attorney for a response, but a response was never provided. The PAC subsequently ordered the Village to provide the responsive records to the requester, subject to permissible redactions under Section 7. The fact that the City may have provided the responsive records in response to an earlier request from the requestor did not excuse the City from responding to the newer request.

This opinion is binding only to the parties involved and may be appealed pursuant to State law.