Violators of information requests could get fined

Ann Knef Feb. 1, 2005, 4:20am

State Rep. Paul Froehlich

Public workers who stall or blow off Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests will no longer get off scot free under a proposed state law.

A bill introduced recently by State Rep. Paul D. Froehlich (R-Schaumburg) would penalize violators $1,000 if "an officer or employee of a public body purposely stalls the processing of a request."

Froehlich said it's the first time a penalty has been applied to violators of the act.

"Most laws have penalties if they are not followed," he said.

In the past, the courts provided the only recourse for those whose requests for information were not met.

"It's a fine--not a crime--but a business offense," he said.

He said the bill is backed by press organizations, but not favored by the Illinois Municipal League.

The FOIA creates procedures whereby any member of the public may obtain government records.

More News