Last Night’s “We Hear You” from Mayor Rings Hauntingly Hollow

I’m not going to say that Mayor Gary L’Heureux lied at last night’s board meeting when he said “We hear you” to those who came to protest.

He said that, by the way. He stepped away from his written statement for a few moments and while I think he was trying to say words of reassurance, that’s not the message that was sent to a section of listeners, myself included.

For example, he mentioned that the Village is “helping” members of Roberson’s family. Apropos in light of current facts, but it doesn’t help move the Village away from its history of prejudice, especially within the ranks of the Midlothian police department.

I also heard last night that 4 to 5 shots were fired into Jemel Roberson that November 11, 2018 Sunday morning. That would be 1 to 2 more bullets than what a police officer deposited into Emantic Bradford at the shopping mall in Hoover, Alabama.

No, this has to do with Ghosts In the Gallery of Midlothian Government and how critical statistical data isn’t made available to the public, let alone those responsible for Midlothian the Corporation.

One of the more effective techniques Midlothian has used over the years to suppress the truth has to do with the “complaint system” in place to handle…well…complaints against the Village.

First off, I’m willing to bet a cup of hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows that there are few in the Village that know there is an official Citizen Complaint Form available at Village Hall. It’s not like you can find a copy online because…well…it’s not there. And to think that back in October of 2014, then resident Kathy Caveney asked for the form to be published to the website. Of course, I myself used a few while former Mayor Terry Stephens was in office, but those complaints went nowhere. Also, Caveney is now a Village Trustee.

So to hear the Mayor say “We hear you?” to those who came to speak about Roberson?

My goodness. Members of the Government of the Village have been listening to complaints about poor policing habits for quite a few administrations. I don’t think very many paper forms were ever used to file such complaints–I know I certainly didn’t use very many over the past decade–but complaints via email, let alone over the phone or in person as still just as valid as those scribed by the person doing the complaining.

Maybe the words “we hear you” were never used in the past, but the illusion many were left with was that concerns were not only being heard, but that the Village would take steps to cure up a plethora of deficiencies…but not until the “next administration” gets into office.

That’s right. Many asked for patience while they kicked the can down the road, blaming some person on the Board, the Mayor or someone else for their own decision for inaction…especially this current Mayor. Often I was told by L’Heureux that it was best if I held back my own concerns until we had a new Mayor, sometimes without him actually having to say the words–just his demeanor alone sent the message loud and clear–especially when I was bringing up law enforcement-based concerns.

And now, with an even brighter spotlight glaring down upon Midlothian in search of evidence that might reflect a measure of prejudice in the Village (or lack thereof), the Village comes up shiny and clean as it relates to just how many complaints have been filed with the Village.

But that’s a false narrative created by the Village’s corrupt practices and procedures when it comes to its legal and moral obligation to have a complaint system to begin with. Sure, the public is allowed to file grievance against Government, but any grievance not filed on one of these Citizen Complaint Forms won’t show up in any statistics because…well…they aren’t “technically” classified as a formal Citizen Complaint.

For example, I know from personal experience (both as a submitter and as a result of a few FOIA requests), that a number of Citizen Complaints were filed with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s Public Corruption Division. Those complaints won’t necessarily show up in the archives of Midlothian when trying to do a statistical analysis of complaints filed with the Village.

I still find it interesting that the Village continues to maintain its stance that there is no prejudice coming from inside of Village Hall–

But hey! If there is no paper evidence to prove otherwise, then their claim must be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…right?

Well…

There are other pieces of evidence out there that clearly say otherwise, including videos and even laws on the books.

I myself am still awaiting clear and convincing evidence that the Village takes the right of a citizen to complain without fear of retaliation from the Village seriously–even if it’s 12 years after the first time I voiced a complaint to the Village.

Posting the Citizen Complaint form on the website would certainly be one decent piece of evidence. Constantly reminding the public that it exists and that people are encouraged to use it would be another one of those pieces.

Posting the Complaints Against a Police Officer policy, procedure and form is another one of those desperately needed pieces of evidence. This is an area that I believe is screaming for a major overhaul, but until it is posted for all to see, it’s tough to explain all of the problems with the process.

So when Mayor L’Heureux said “We hear you”?

He left out two things.

He left out any statement regarding his commitment and willingness to work with the protestors and advocates towards a more improved Village, especially when it comes to the police department and its staff. They weren’t talking just about Roberson’s death and what came after–they were talking about the events leading up to his death as well.

But L’Heureux also left out, “except if your name is Midlothian Valerie. If that is the case, don’t bother saying anything else because everyone here at Village Hall knows you’re nothing but a toothless and mentally ill person that we can’t get rid of fast enough–even though the Village has been trying for years –and we cannot be expected to keep listening to you ramble on as you continue to lose your mind. You’re illness is one of the reasons we have so many problems here in Midlothian and you are still costing the taxpayers thousands of dollars with all of your wasteful complaints! Please just shut up already and leave the rest of us good, decent, honorable people alone. We know what we’re doing.”

Or something along those lines.

So, in other words, hearing people has never been the problem of the government here in Midlothian when it comes to its history of prejudice.

Doing something other than letting the figurative dogs and fire hoses loose after one speaks out against such prejudice has always been the problem.

I will now sit back and await to see if these complaint forms finally make it online so that anyone can fill one out if they choose to.

I did ask this of the Mayor’s Office today via email.

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Posted in Advanced Midlothian Politics Special Projects by Valerie, AMP Call For Investigation, AMP Nationwide (USA), AMP Notes On Former Public Officials, AMP Notes on Public Officials, • Allen Moskal (Midlothian Village Clerk), • Correcting Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Diversion of Government Assets, • End Inequal Access To Justice NOW, • Equal Access To Justice For All Not Some, • Erogin Ruff Series, • Gary L'Heureux (Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Illegal Police Actions, • Kathleen "Kathy" Caveney (Village Trustee), • Maria Kolacki (Village Deputy Clerk), • Michael Kohlstedt (former Village Clerk), • Municipal Corruption, • Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Sharon Rybak (former Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Terrence "Terry" Stephens (former Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Text Talk, • The 10-4-2017 Staged Panozzo Panic Attack, • Village of Midlothian Illinois (Village Hall), Entries based on municipal unit, Interference With Basic Needs, Local Controversies, Midlothian Valerie Originals, Midlothian Valerie True Community Policing Demonstrations, The Death of Jemel Roberson, Valerie's Voice

No One Likes Making Mistakes, But Boy, Do I Think I Got Something Wrong!

First, you have to trust me with this one request before you read much further, otherwise my words in this post will come across as “nonsense” and a sign of mental “instability.”

It’s a video in which you can hear me laughing quite obnoxiously at comments being made by current District 228 Board Member Evelyn Gleason in which she was using words like “conspiracy” but you need to first hear word for word what Gleason said to the Board, complete with tone of voice.  This happened at an April 2016 meeting.

Here’s the video and come back to the post once you’ve seen it:

(* Extra bonus:  Here’s the original post I wrote back soon after it happened)

Okay. Now that you’ve watched the video, I can short-hand a whole bunch of stuff, but just as a footnote.  Much of what I stated in text still stands true, but it just doesn’t seem to be the most likely truth with this one event anymore and trust me, that’s not good.

First, what you cannot see in the video is the 6 point list of allegations against former Midlothian Mayor Sharon Rybak. They were for administrative-driven issues and were briefly a surprise to me.

I thought I knew the biggest reason why the Trustee’s were calling for a vote to open up an Office of Investigator General with an invite to Cook County Sheriff Thomas “Tom” Dart to be the appointed investigator (or something to that effect.).

That’s why I laughed so hard while Gleason was speaking.

I had discussed the ordinance with a variety of Trustees and was willing to assume the Board was ready to back the allegations. Okay. Shrug? Maybe not. Stay with me a bit more.

A short while ago, I sent a FOIA request to the Cook County Sheriff’s Department that was framed in such a way, I believe I should have been given a copy of those 6 allegations on their paperwork and the subsequent results of the investigation. I certainly received results I was entirely unaware existed, that’s for sure.

However, there was not a trace of the allegations as outlined in the ordinance in my results. That matters, but could also be explainable for a variety of reasons, least of which the OIG ordinance and the corresponding paperwork never made it to the Finals, as the Board ended up having to re-write the ordinance per the request of Dart’s office–or so I was informed back then. I guess it’s possible the Village never followed through in delivering the request and I suppose Dart’s office is allowed to decline, but I didn’t research that particular set of rules.

So basically, what you just watched on video and in snippet form was Evelyn Gleason protesting the proposed ordinance, including suggestion that the Board was trying to “embarrass” Rybak, among other allegations she said aloud.

Remember hearing me laugh out loud while she was speaking?

For me, the 6 allegations were possible, I suppose, based on everything I ended up uncovering and reporting on from time to time to the public and an OIG office always sounds like a good next step for potential corruption from a unit of government, whether it be individual or corporation alike.

That’s not why I was laughing.

I laughed because it seemed to me that the biggest reason for the investigation to not contain that whopper of a topic seemed like a clear effort to NOT humiliate Rybak–

Especially if “It” was true.

Based on what I was told about the “It Factor,” I knew there was nothing I could or should write about because quite frankly, I never saw “It” as fact back then.

I was just told about “It”–and so were other Board members.

I figured having a draft FOIA on file to request a copy of “It” would be sufficient enough reason for me to put my notes away regarding the Board meeting and of course, the inspiration for the “Gleason Conspiracy Video” popped into my head as a way to vent.

The 6 were bad enough, if even one was true and the Board voted on wanting fresh eyes to look over something.

But if the “It” was true?

Then Gleason was far more of a truth-teller than I gave her credit for with the snippet video, I suppose.

Are you still with me?

Good, because I think I now understand why she said the words she said, which means I was wrong for not investigating this possibility sooner.

Life got in the way (as it always does) and I decided to patiently wait for Dart’s office to crank something out, figuring a few years was more than enough time to investigate at least the 6 allegations that were listed and Golly Darn Bless the 24/7 FOIA of the USA principle.

So when the paperwork didn’t show up via my FOIA to Dart’s office, I decided to just get it over with.

I was going to ask for a copy of “Them” to see if “It” was true.

Text messages, to be specific.

Lots of text messages, I was told by at least two people who claimed to have viewed them.

Text messages that hinted at Rybak texting someone she shouldn’t have been during Executive Session.

There certainly was a lot of time spent between Rybak and a phone number, at least in terms of minutes spent on the phone and if “It” were true, then those text messages were some serious evidence of wrong-doing–by far more than just Rybak.

I believe that if I was to allow “It” to be true, then Gleason’s challenge to the Board was courageous (even if there was a hint of personal), because it would mean that the potential for large-scale conspiracy would be a low-hanging fruit for someone such as myself to reach.

For example, only a small group of people ever laid claim to me that they saw “Them” themselves. The rest of the Board was not shown the materials and somehow “They” ended up in Martin Rita’s possession…allegedly.

And yet, when I FOIA requested the Village a few weeks ago for copies of the text messages, boy did the Village come up empty-handed.

Now, the “It Factor” in all of this conjumbulated conundrum has to do with a private choice that can have serious reputation ramifications. First, it’s a fact that by principle, the act itself isn’t necessarily the problem. There are areas of progression in the wider public view that shows tolerance as long as there is free-will permission, but it allegedly filtrated into other corners of the Village as a Corporation.

Now, before I get into what the “It” allegedly was, there’s one other black rabbit hole to travel through to get to all the “Other Stuff.”

Before I requested the text messages by date, I first requested records responsive to the “It” facet from the Village and received a copy of the billing statement as a response. I never return extra documents I am given and the one and only time someone went overboard enough with what they released was but a month ago.

So I’m sent the breakdown of all calls made to and from a specific phone number.

A phone number that was allegedly in the possession of an employee as a “work phone” while the account itself was under the personal name of one of his supervisors–that’s one of those FOIA holes that allows for some serious burial of materials relevant to the public, let alone any investigators for any reason.

There certainly appeared to be a significant amount of chat time with the Mayor, and not necessarily during regular business hours. I’m sure a spreadsheet could show all sorts of “Other Stuff,” but someone on the Board began telling other Board members an “inappropriate relationship” was going on between the Mayor and an employee.

Now let me stop me right here.

“Inappropriate relationship.”

Ummm…never fully asked what “inappropriate” might look like in text form, but at least according to the phone bill I was given, there might have been some “inappropriate information sharing,” but still not the “It” that was firsts alleged by a member of the Board.

Starting to sound like a conspiracy is somewhere in this here black rabbit hole I’ve just made you travel with me–and without all of the conversations I remember having about this over a period of time.

A conspiracy to maintain control over evidence that if true, belonged in Dart’s hands for investigation and so why wasn’t I given evidence the 6 original allegations made it to Dart’s office with my recent FOIA?

Occam’s Razor. It was never turned over to Dart’s office. Instead, when it was turned over to the Village at the end of the employee’s employment with the Village, the initiating Board member of the allegations kept/passed along the messages to at least one other Village employee at some point, Martin Rita. How this went from Rita and with similar confirmation of seeing the messaging that the “It” was true to the rejection of my FOIA request, “The information you requested is not within the possession of the Village of Midlothian.”

If “It” was true, it would seem this is an outrageous and reckless abuse of power by a Board member that potentially benefitted from their credibility in the community as an outright truth-teller, including open and honest opinion and all.

The Rita connection is the lid to the black rabbit hole that really could use one of those flashlights that works underwater and is recharged by water.

By the way, Robert “Bob” and John Rita of Blue Island are the uncles of Martin Rita, Midlothian Fire Department.  Google those names when you get bored.

Martin Rita used to be Deputy Chief of the Midlothian Fire Department.

Two board members laid claim to Rita being the Protector Of the Materials.

Notice I said “used to be Deputy Chief” when talking about Rita?  Rita was dropped some ranks a while back for reasons unknown to the public.

But when I first heard about it, I was slightly concerned about someone in the Fire Department having the messages other than the Chief himself, as it was allegedly done using Village property–at least back then.

Now I’ve seen for myself that the alleged phone certainly belonged back with the Chief because the phone was in his personal name and was a personal account, according to that one FOIA result I mentioned a while back.

Hell, yes. There’s that lid I was looking for.

Ummphh. Ooff. Ouch!

Why, you became Mayor, Gary L’Heureux!

What the hell happened to those alleged text messages you said you had in your back pocket at one point while you were Trustee?  You know, right around the time Gleason spoke out in protest at this particular meeting.

Ooopss. Sorry.

Let me be formal about this, lest you think I lost my mind with this post, rather than letting loose my confusion for a moment upon the Internet…

Dear Mayor of Midlothian Illinois Gary L’Heureux,

I think you owe every member of the Village Board a thorough investigation into what exactly happened with those alleged text messages you said happened between the former Mayor, who eventually ran against you, even though she had pledged she wasn’t running, and a Deputy Chief of the Midlothian Fire Department back in the weeks and months before opening the OIG office for a second time and with the specific charges selected, and who eventually left the Department on their own terms?

You also owe the Board the truth in the immediate if there never were confirmed text messages as viewed by you and in the condition you claimed to have reviewed them.

You allegedly used the theme of these messages to help persuade the Board to vote in favor of opening the OIG office and yet none claim to have seen them except for one, who also benefitted from the 2017 election cycle.

You assured me those messages would be going to Dart’s office as you well know I do not tolerate being intentionally used for political messaging purposes. I should have FOIA requested them back then, but I trusted your words over Evelyn Gleason’s in this case.

I was wrong back then and maybe I am wrong about something now.

What’s the truth, Gary? It mattered back then and it matters now what the truth is.

Did these alleged “inappropriate” text messages at least exist at one point or was everything just an illusion?

Call me at your earliest convenience to discuss further, if you so choose.

I’d be willing to tag the conversation a “True Community Policing” moment if you are.

Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this critical matter.

Posted in 2019 Local Elections, Advanced Midlothian Politics Special Projects by Valerie, AMP Call For Investigation, AMP Nationwide (USA), AMP Notes On Former Public Officials, AMP Notes on Public Officials, • 2018 Investigation Watch, • Allen Moskal (Midlothian Village Clerk), • Carl Ivan (Village Trustee), • Dave Mager (former Fire Dept. Deputy Chief), • Diversion of Government Assets, • Donald "Don" Killelea (Village Trustee), • End Inequal Access To Justice NOW, • Equal Access To Justice For All Not Some, • Gary L'Heureux (Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Jerome "Jerry" Gillis, Jr. (Village Trustee), • Karen Kreis (Village Trustee), • Kathleen "Kathy" Caveney (Village Trustee), • Municipal Corruption, • Nick Valadez (Village Attorney), • Original Demonstration, • Personal Profiteering For Political Gain, • Pictures and Graphics, • Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Reputation Management, • Sandy Crowley (Village Trustee), • Sharon Rybak (former Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Text Talk, • The 10-4-2017 Staged Panozzo Panic Attack, • Thomas Dart (Cook County Sheriff/Public Corruption), • Video Productions, • Village of Midlothian Illinois (Village Hall), Entries based on municipal unit, Local Controversies, Midlothian Valerie News Story Coverage, Midlothian Valerie Originals, Midlothian Valerie Tech Talk, Midlothian Valerie True Community Policing Demonstrations, Repairing Political Rifts Through Reflection, Valerie's Voice

And now, let’s turn to Blue Island…errr…Midlothian, for an update

Flashback to December 1, 2005 in Blue Island, Illinois.

A group of young boys decide to head out to the local “slopes” for a little sledding.  In this case, the “slope” was a part of the Western Avenue overpass that leads towards Packard rather than sledding at Memorial Park, where the sport is more common.

Before anyone could stop the next series of events, Robert “Robbie” Silva (age 11) was struck by a white pick-up truck as his sled had slid him into the street.  The truck sped away into the night while Silva passed away from his injuries at the hospital shortly after the accident.

This was in 2005.

It’s the tail-end of 2018 now and the driver of the pick-up truck has yet to be arrested on charges stemming from the hit-and-run, and the truck itself allegedly was burned to a crisp as part of a Blue Island Fire Department training exercise.

On tonight’s agenda for the City of Blue Island council is a simple sentence reading “Discussion of Pending Litigation in the case of Thomas vs. City of Blue Island and possible final action authorizing settlement.” (read lawsuit here)

So what could this litigation possibly center around?

How about it centering around an alleged police-driven cover-up that included falsification of documents, suppression of evidence and a likely political aspect as well?

That’s right and the Midlothian twist is coming right up.

Midlothian resident, Michael Cornell was the Blue Island Detective assigned to investigate the Silva case back in 2005, along with Kevin Sisk.

This is the same Michael Cornell that eventually rose to become Acting Police Chief of the Blue Island police department before being rejected as a candidate for permanent Police Chief.  Cornell chose retirement after it was made clear there would never be a path to permanency.

This is the same Michael Cornell that somehow landed a gig with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) after leaving the Blue Island police department in April 2018.  It should definitely be noted that his LinkdIn profile simply says “Investigator” with the State of Illinois, which will make sense once you learn of how he handled the Silva case.

This is the same Michael Cornell that is married to Village of Midlothian Trustee Sandra L. Crowley, who has been pushing really, really hard for a new police department to be built for the department, but has shown no concern about the failures of the Village to install and implement an honest-to-goodness Community Policing program.  Crowley herself is a Systems Analyst III for the Cook County State’s Attorney Child Support Enforcement Department.

But this lawsuit between Silva’s mother and the City of Blue Island is not the only document lingering over the legacy of Michael Cornell as a member of law enforcement in the City of Blue Island.

In fact, there is another lawsuit that may have an important influence over the possible settlement hinted at on tonight’s agenda.

From all accounts, Silva’s mother took every reasonable step imaginable to call for a review of the case involving the death of her son and eventually her persistence paid off.  In March, 2009, Blue Island Detective Ismael Haro agreed to revisit the case with a set of fresh eyes.

You want to know what Detective Haro got for agreeing to review the case?

Retaliated against by…wait for it…

Michael Cornell.  (read Whistleblower’s lawsuit here)

The level and degree of this retaliation was complete and total, including a 90 day suspension without pay, virtually unheard of in the history of the Blue Island police department.

But wait for it…

Haro was given a SECOND 90 day suspension right after he served the first one!

This was only AFTER Cornell invented a new job position of “Commander,” in November 2013, which was supposed to be an administrative position between the ranks of deputy chief and patrol sergeant.

And guess who Cornell appointed to this newly created job position…

None other than Kevin Sisk.

Did I mention that Sisk was also appointed to investigate the Silva case back in 2005?

What an “investigative” team Cornell and Sisk made, right?  It’s 2018 and still no one has had to answer to the hit-and-run charges.

But in Haro’s Whistleblowers lawsuit against both Cornell and Sisk, Haro states that while he was in search for the Silva file that had disappeared from all logical locations such documents would be stored, guess who had them in his desk?

Cornell.

And you wanna know what Haro alleges Cornell said when Haro asked for the files?

“That woman needs to get over it.  Her son is dead and the offender in the case has likely fled to Mexico.”

Can I just say “Gasp” or do I have to make the sound effect to go with the allegation Cornell said something like that?

All in all, the public documents involving the Silva case certainly offer up enough evidence to suggest that while there might be a tidbit of detail to squabble over here and there, the City of Blue Island has had its own conspiracy case lurking in its police department for quite some time…in fact, enough time for the alleged perpetrators to rise fairly high in the ranks…and more than enough time for Cornell to “retire” rather than facing the unemployment line.

For those who are watching over the actions and activities of law enforcement officers, this set of circumstances is just as worthy to monitor and even act upon as with the conspiracy trial regarding the alleged cover-up by police officers in the Laquon McDonald murder, which is due for a verdict December 19, 2018.

And what the Blue Island city council does tonight will be quite telling as to whether or not they have the capacity to address the likelihood that the Silva death and subsequent investigation was more than just horrible police work–it was politically driven police work.

It’s become very hard to imagine Village of Midlothian Trustee Sandra Crowley having been able to objectively interact with the Village board and the Midlothian police department since she was appointed liaison to the department soon after she was appointed as Trustee once now Village Clerk Allen Moskal vacated his seat as Trustee after the 2017 election.

In fact, it’s hard to imagine her staying objective about the death of Jemel Roberson, let alone being interested in finding out the fullest truth about the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Sure we get to watch Kellyanne Conway and her husband George Conway at odds with one another as to opinions about our current President’s behaviors and judgements, but Crowley’s husband’s loss of permanent Police Chief of Blue Island had to strike a nerve (and a paycheck).  And what if it is all true?  What if her husband did all of the alleged behaviors in both lawsuits?  Can Crowley stand up to not just the Midlothian Police Department but the State of Illinois if there is even a whiff of a cover-up with the shooting of Roberson and demand changes from the department?

I’m thinking not.  Plus, her working for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office has its own risks and perils…let alone Cornell’s current job with the state as “Investigator” for DCFS.

I got my own taste of Cornell yesterday when waiting outside Village Hall for it to open.  I ended up overhearing Cornell talking with someone on the phone about what sounded like to be a case he was responsible for investigating.  He strolled away slightly for a few moments, but eventually came back and stood not 5 feet away from me while talking on the phone.  Something about his being surprised “she had everything pre-paid” and talk about how “disorganized” the person was, etc.

Tonight looks like it will be a big night for not just the City of Blue Island, Silva’s mother and the entire southwest suburbs, especially from a political stance.

Tonight could become a significant moment in the history of the relationship between law enforcement and the public they take an oath to serve and protect.

A settlement means the Blue Island police department failed to serve and protect while almost succeeding at providing Teflon coverage to the officers at fault for the conspiracy and cover-up.

Key word in that last sentence being “almost.”

And now it’s time for me to go think about tomorrow night’s Village Board meeting here in Midlothian at 7:00 p.m.

#JusticeForSilva

Posted in Advanced Midlothian Politics Special Projects by Valerie, AMP Call For Investigation, AMP Nationwide (USA), AMP Notes on Public Officials, AMP Official Investigation Tracking, • Allen Moskal (Midlothian Village Clerk), • Correcting Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • End Inequal Access To Justice NOW, • Equal Access To Justice For All Not Some, • Gary L'Heureux (Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Illegal Police Actions, • Municipal Corruption, • Personal Profiteering For Political Gain, • Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Sandy Crowley (Village Trustee), City of Blue Island, Domingo Vargas (former Mayor of Blue Island Illinois), Entries based on municipal unit, Interference With Basic Needs, Local Controversies, Michael Cornell (former Acting Police Chief of Blue Island), Midlothian Valerie News Story Coverage, Midlothian Valerie Originals, Midlothian Valerie True Community Policing Demonstrations, Panozzo Panic Attack Test, The Death of Jemel Roberson, Valerie's Voice

Sparing You the FOIA: A #Peaceful #ePaper #Protest on a Sunday Afternoon

***Sent to the Board of Trustees on Sunday, December 9, 2018 via email***

My volunteerism for the Village of Midlothian has certainly been unique over this past decade, but I gave of myself what I thought I could develop and deliver well to the public–conversation starters and details about the operations of the local municipalities operating in the Village and encouraging people to seek out information of their own.

There are three points I would like to volunteer to this body of individuals elected to serve the interests of all who #ChooseMidlothian to do something, like live or work or even playing live music:

1. Clothing Ordinance. The Board’s lack of repealing the clothing ordinance in an expeditious manner, in my opinion, shows an unwillingness to address some of the low-hanging fruits planted in the past that are entirely unnecessary–when they were first imposed and even now. The law has not been enforced because I still argue it cannot be applied in a fair and equal manner without violating the Constitution on some level, including illegal search and seizure based on how much of one’s clothing reveals enough for everyone to be able to tell immediately if someone is “male” or “female.

As I remain hopeful this resonates with you as absurd (especially since I was given symbolic “amnesty” for all of my violations of the law), please call upon the Village Attorney to draw up at least a draft opinion on whether or not Midlothian needs this law intact to keep the public safer than if the law did not exist.

And never forget that if such an issue became of potential value to the public from a safety perspective, there is always opportunity to create a law based on the circumstances that might call for such a law to begin with. This law parallel’s the #BaggyPantsOrdinance of past that never passed, except the Village is suggesting that those who clothes themselves a certain way may be hiding their body parts in such a way that…what? Women have to wear only bras and bikini underwear to soothe a likely irrational fear? And men can skip the bras and go straight to the bikinis? And the trans? Binary? What do they wear as proof of their sex?

The Midlothian community does not need this type of law that offers the police an option as to whether or not they should apply it to begin with–and ignorance is no defense–neither does lacking a policy regarding enforcement of the law provide “plausible” deniability.

Repeal this and only replace should all other laws fail to address a safety or security issue related to the dress of an individual remains my viewpoint on this matter. Please consider my request with care and concern for all who have been persecuted and prosecuted over the clothing they chose to wear, regardless of where they live.

2. Illegal meetings. I’ve always made my stance on this quite clear to each of you over the years, sometimes talking extensively with a majority of you. Once upon a time, during the Kohlstedt years, this Village had to endure the hits that I know for a fact I inspired.

I know for a fact that I complained to Dart’s office about the stunts being pulled through the Tax Hike phase of the Village. I know for a fact that both meeting minutes and agendas eventually made it to the website, but almost always on some majorly delayed schedule that still created violation. Sure, the posting of agenda’s was frequently in compliance, but the minutes were just as important back then as they are now. I know for a fact that my series of judgments regarding these singular and granular events was important for me to volunteer as it remains my opinion that the Village is better because of it, regardless of how it contributes to my reputation.

I know for a fact that I complained to the Village about the issue of illegal meetings, both formally and informally. I know for a fact I chose to request assistance from the PAC office with the hopes of motivating the team of Kohlstedt and Rybak to #CeaseAndDesist. I know for a fact that my discretion as to what I should report and what I shouldn’t eventually led to all Trustees being able to get agendas and board packets 48 hours before a meeting started without a “whoops” somewhere in the process.

The fact that I now have one of those choices to make because I incidentally came across not just one, but two agendas that were incorrect enough to become an Open Meetings Act violation should the meeting have commenced.

I always tell myself the PAC office has better things to do with their time than bang on the door of the Village with a letter. Well…actually, there is no door-banging and the letter is actually an email with a .pdf letter attached), but I’m not government. This means I get to pick and choose when I am going to give the Village a pass on further examination, compared to taking my voice, my reputation, my life and putting it behind a request for further examination by someone also employed by government–but hired to scrutinize the behaviors of government individuals as it relates to OMA and FOIA violations.

Therefore, I would like to put forth an additional effort to request change of policy and procedures inside of Village Hall when it comes to the Village hosting public meetings. While it is the role of Village Clerk to ensure this happens, it is up to this Board to support him in such efforts.

Please insist that the entire agenda process is studied in a speedy, but thorough manner, and that draft procedures are offered up for a few days of input from all who are expected to use the system in the first place. I am motivated to insist simply because I have faith in the skill-set of Clerk Moskal to accomplish and implement such a simple, but critical safety system for the Village by the end of the year.

That all depends on whether or not the issue can once again be important enough to be addressed in a prompt manner–or if the phrase “Wait until the next Clerk” passes through my mind as to whether or not I should file complaint with the PAC office.

3. Lack of police policy and procedure. While this topic tends to evoke the greatest hostility out of both government and public alike, perhaps unbeknownst to you, I filed a complaint with the PAC office almost immediately after I read an email declining my request to view the police policies and procedures for protests and protestors.

My promptness of reporting the decline was motivated by past and current events when it comes to this specific arena of professional law enforcement.

I remember protesting outside of Village Hall last summer, complete with a sign and a document outlining my arguments as to what was so wrong, it called for such a public display of disagreement. I also remember Police Chief Delaney driving out of the parking lot of the police department and at least waiving at me (I saw sarcasm, but what do I know).

I also remember last Wednesday night where Delaney could not even be professional enough in a public setting to return the greeting. No documented laws broken on either side, but the “persona non-grata” message was clear to me. Shrug?

More to the point would be my returning back to how I even came across the CPC agenda. I always check out the board before heading into the building. Because I saw no less than the chance at informal conversation if it was attempted to commence the meeting, let alone the risk that the meeting actually happened on the 4th, it was worth the patience to put away my conversation about body cameras for police officers and instead make a statement about something that represented a positive direction the Village was heading, in my opinion.

And here’s why. Prior to the start of the meeting, Attorney Valadez made it a point to converse with me regarding the Village’s response to the FOIA request that was declined. He displayed no concern about being seen talking to me, let alone others being able to hear about the matter. I can even absorb the idea that I received a template response most likely in relation to the current investigation into the death of Mr. Jemel Roberson.

What I cannot stomach is the idea that the Midlothian police department has no policy and procedure in place to address such a potentially life and death series of events that are related to protesting the actions of someone in relation to a government unit.

What profound implications and intellectual dissonance since I know that I was allowed to protest undisrupted by the police. Sure, that likely happened because I was a one-person protestor–I didn’t make any announcements about it. I didn’t invite anyone. A few stopped to talk, in which I removed the duct tape I had over my mouth with the word “Stop!” written on it to answer questions asked of me as to why I was choosing to behave the way I was behaving in public.

While illegal police surveillance of protestors is one of those “illusions” in which much is never detected outside of those who are doing something perceived to be a “threat,” for me it starts with the idea that the police officers of Midlothian have been given no consistent guidelines on how to interact with a protest and when to act on what and how.

The use of pepper spray during a protest can create a variety of escalations, especially in a small, enclosed room.

The police officers have not been told if and when this is an option.

There is no definition of circumstances in which a mass detainment and possibly arrest is called for.

The police officers have not been told what do after their use of pepper spray and what conditions call for immediate medical attention compared to a call for mass detainment at what point after the pepper spray was used.

A former police chief threatened a citizen of removal from a meeting during a give-and-take protest without equally threatening the citizen appointed as a representative of the Village.

The police officers have not been told what steps to take if a removal from a meeting is called for because someone decided to protest.

From a video of a protest a short while back, Detective Adam Panozzo seemed quite disturbed on a video that he had to be the literal greeter of a group of people following the instructions on the signs posted on and around the door who were seeking a moment of a Midlothian police officer’s time.

The police officers have not been told what steps to take if someone shows up at one of their doorways. I ended up disrupting roll call the other day, but only because I thought the door might be unlocked in preparation for a possible public meeting. It is my understanding that person outside the station ended up patching through to the emergency side of law enforcement. I’ve used that phone before and I’ve never had the glass door put between myself and the officer I ended up speaking with compared to the past actions of the Detective.

Delaney never actually stopped to ask me for more information regarding why I chose to protest outdoors last year. Of course, the Mayor didn’t show up either, but I don’t think I’ve read too many documents suggesting that was the norm in any other jurisdiction either.

The police officers have not been given steps to take to de-escalate a circumstance involving one of their own, let alone those protesting at a public meeting sponsored by a government unit. Sure, a few meetings ago a protestor in the audience chose to cease speaking out loud during the meeting on the call of an officer sitting a few seats away, but that was likely on instinct of the officer and the willingness of the protestor to comply and it did quickly restore order to the meeting.

The police officers are given no policy or procedure on crowd control tactics and techniques to avoid the use of force while using their authority to keep things as peaceful as the law will allow.

Etcetera, etcetera.

So here’s where I can land at this point when it comes to sharing with my government a concern of mine in a once-again original manner regarding a valid, rational and reasonable concern connected to the police department and law enforcement here in Midlothian

When I stayed true to my pledge of paying attention to the same types of principles that in the past, my opposition to a great number of things were not so globally viewed as a “safe threat” for the Village to worry about.

Many of you did not mind my calling out the Village of Midlothian for an illegal meeting, let alone a FOIA request circumstance, even though it was clear that my actions and decisions were burdening the operations of the Village, under the previous administration.

I even called out the former police chief from time to time, and again my responses were considered more “safe” than “dangerous” back then by the Village Board–despite them being perceived as a negative burden by some.

Well, everything I said here in this email should be “safe” to talk about in public and maybe hindsight will suggest to me I should have talked about body cameras rather than compliment the Clerk’s office that night.

Please do something about the lack of any policy and procedure for the Midlothian police officers to follow regarding protestors and protests?

I wouldn’t be asking first if I didn’t think there was a chance for corrective actions to be taken in the sooner rather than the later, and that it can even be done in a public manner, complete with broad and wide discussion among the many who are impacted by such policy and procedure, including but not limited to law enforcement.

Thank you for your time and consideration of these three important matters and should you wish to discuss any of these points further, please feel free to contact me at 708-872-0404.

Regards,

Valerie Weiskirch

P.S. I went to the Village website to get the email address of the Mayor (had an error sending last time) and it reads “Village President More Coming Soon!” I found that oddly amusing.

Posted in - Rental Property Owner Edmund "Eddie" Olmos, Advanced Midlothian Politics Special Projects by Valerie, AMP Call For Investigation, AMP Nationwide (USA), AMP Notes On Former Public Officials, AMP Notes On Local LEO's, AMP Notes on Public Officials, • Allen Moskal (Midlothian Village Clerk), • Carl Ivan (Village Trustee), • Correcting Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Daniel Delaney (Police Chief), • Deconstructing Ordinances, • Donald "Don" Killelea (Village Trustee), • End Inequal Access To Justice NOW, • Equal Access To Justice For All Not Some, • Erogin Ruff Series, • Gary L'Heureux (Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Harold "Hal" Kaufman (former Police Chief), • Illegal Police Actions, • Jerome "Jerry" Gillis, Jr. (Village Trustee), • Karen Kreis (Village Trustee), • Kathleen "Kathy" Caveney (Village Trustee), • Maria Kolacki (Village Deputy Clerk), • Michael Kohlstedt (former Village Clerk), • Midlothian Police Chief Daniel Delaney, • Midlothian Police Detective Sgt. Adam Panozzo, • Municipal Code Books, • Municipal Unit Agendas and Minutes, • Nick Valadez (Village Attorney), • No FOIA Required Collection, • OMA Violations, • Original Demonstration, • Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Sandy Crowley (Village Trustee), • Sharon Rybak (former Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Stephen Hotwagner (Chief of Fire Department), • Text Talk, • The 10-4 Over and Out Nationwide Panic Attack, • The 10-4-2017 Staged Panozzo Panic Attack, • Thomas Dart (Cook County Sheriff/Public Corruption), • Village of Midlothian Illinois (Village Hall), Entries based on municipal unit, Interference With Basic Needs, Midlothian Valerie News Story Coverage, Midlothian Valerie Originals, Panozzo Panic Attack Test, Repairing Political Rifts Through Reflection, The Death of Jemel Roberson, Valerie's Voice

The Case of the Missing Community Policing Meeting

Darn it was cold outside tonight!  Okay.  In all fairness, it was cold last night when I went to the regularly scheduled Committee meeting at Village Hall, but at least I had the chance to warm up last night before heading home…unlike tonight.

Before last night’s meeting, I checked the bulletin board outside of Village Hall to see the agenda for the evening and noticed their was an agenda posted for the regular Community Policing Committee Meeting on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

It was because of this agenda and the scheduled CPC meeting that I decided to scrap my original comments and went with something else that had value in that Board room.  I figured my original comments (which were given an extra twist prior to the meeting) belonged with the CPC first and of course I could be patient and wait 24 hours to share my concern.

So after checking the website just to be sure (and noticing no agenda was connected to the meeting announcement, btw), I wrapped myself up (and I do mean wrapped up!) and headed over to the Roll Call Room at the Police Department where the meeting was supposed to be held.

I got there around 6:45 p.m. and I also brought my camera with because I had yet to record a CPC meeting and thought it would be a perfect time to add at least one of their meetings to my collection of public meeting videos.

So here I am outside of the Roll Call room, pacing back and forth a bit (did I mention it was cold outside?) before it occurred to me I had not tried to open the door, which might have been open the whole time.

I gave the door a gentle tug and it was locked.  Within a few moments of my preparing myself for a little longer wait for the meeting, one of the officers opened the door, gave me a quizzical look and asked if he could help me.

I mentioned I was there for the Community Policing Committee meeting and he mentioned they were in the middle of roll call and that he didn’t know about what was going on with the meeting.  While I was slightly confused, there was no tension in the conversation and he returned to his work while I returned to the task of staying warm until the meeting started.

A few more minutes passed and with no one from the Committee showing up, I began to wonder what the heck was going on.  I wasn’t becoming frustrated with the officer and his response.  I was becoming frustrated with the lack of leadership of Mayor Gary L’Heureux, Police Chief Daniel Delaney and Trustee Sandy Crowley.  I started wondering how it was possible that any officer on the police force could be unaware of when a Community Policing meeting was being held…after all, we are a Community Policing Community.

Before I could work through my thoughts too thoroughly, the officer who responded to my door tug came out to hit the streets.  He mentioned again that he wasn’t sure what was going on and when I asked him the time, he mentioned it was still 5 minutes before 7:00.  I then decided to check the bulletin board to see if there was at least a cancellation notice posted about the meeting, or if I should continue to wait for the others to arrive.

I walk to the front and poof!  The agenda posted yesterday was gone and in its place was…well…nothing.  In fact, it was devoid of all agendas, but it at least had the list of regularly scheduled meetings which stated clearly that the CPC would meet the first Thursday of every month.

So now I’m really stuck.  No agenda AND no cancellation notice.  I walked back towards the roll call room to at least give the situation a few more minutes and before long, a few officers walked out the door to hit the streets.

Suffice it to say, I was offered the idea that while he couldn’t speak for absolute certain, it was his understanding that the Community Policing Committee was held on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 and that there was something about it on the CPC Facebook page.

It was then I thanked the officer for the candor and made point I needed to get out of the cold, so I headed back here to my computer, where I am still defrosting as I type.

First point of error.  Posting a change of date to a private corporation’s website that is not directly connected to the Village website is not proper notice to the public of a rescheduling of a regularly scheduled meeting.

Second point of error.  While I scrolled through the posts on the CPC Facebook page, I saw absolutely nothing suggesting there was a meeting held on December 4, 2018!  No announcements, no encouragement to attend, no sharing of the agenda that was absent from the Village website–nothing.

Right before I was ready to call it quits, believing that yet another officer ended up misleading me about something law enforcement-related, I decided to click on the “Events” tab of the page.

And guess what I found:

Yup!  Something that appears to be a notice of the meeting being held on December 4th and not December 6th.

Can I get an oy veh?

Now I had already noticed last night that the date of the meeting on the posted agenda had read “Thursday, December 4, 2018.”  I had also notice that the Planning Commission agenda posted just to the left of it had no date of the meeting, nor did it have the location stated, which means if they held a meeting, it was held illegally.

But this particular one is a little less simple.  I went because I wanted to see if they would proceed in having an illegal meeting as the Park District once did with a similar error (the PAC office judged that the Park District meeting had been held illegally despite the Scrivenor’s Error argument offered) or if I would at least have the chance to chat informally with members of the CPC about my new concerns about police policy regarding protests and protestors.

Turns out, they likely had an illegal meeting on Tuesday, December 4th AND I didn’t get the chance to chat about my concerns that stemmed from the results of a FOIA request I had to first forward to the PAC office for formal review tonight.

For those who want to chalk this up to a simple “typographical error,” it is nothing of the sort.  The fact that it clearly said “Thursday” was well in line with the regular schedule and that it is not the public’s responsibility or obligation to figure out if the “December 4” part was a typo or not…which it appears it wasn’t.  It is solely the Village’s responsibility to ensure all of that information is 100% accurate.  Period.  No debate.  No questions.  No doubt.  And publishing to a private corporation’s website of the change of date while posting nothing on its bulletin board makes it all the more curious–and suspicious.

So right when the Village properly extracts itself from my latest complaint to the PAC office regarding their denial of my request for all policies and procedures pertaining to protests and protestors…it goes and digs itself another hole–at least two meetings wide–the Planning Commission and the Community Policing Committee, with illegal meetings.

So where does all of this leave someone such as myself?

Well, for starters, it’s going to be another complaint to the PAC office.  That’s for certain.

But there are a few bigger things at play here:

1.  The question of why the meeting was changed in the first place.  The only two reasons I can think of at this time is that Trustee Sandy Crowley didn’t want to miss the big annual Midlothian Chamber of Commerce holiday celebration at the Midlothian Country Club–because she is up for re-election this year and many understand just how important it is to be seen as a supporter of the local Chamber of Commerce, let alone the opportunity for her to get petitions signed–and/or the CPC didn’t want to risk any protestors showing up at the meeting to speak their minds.

2.  The fact that the officers were not confident in when and where such a meeting was to be held remains disturbing and wrong.  This lands squarely in the laps of Mayor Gary L’Heureux and Police Chief Delaney, the two key figures in any True Community Policing setting.  And while they aren’t facing immediate election-related issues, this continued lack of leadership from both of them puts all officers at risk of being judged unfairly and being held responsible for their not knowing when CPC meetings are being held.  That’s why it was important for me to make a point at the beginning that both officers treated me as right as can be expected and I do not hold them accountable for their uncertainty.  It also is possible they harbored hope that the CPC would be able to avoid any protests or protesters for another month.

3.  Current Village Clerk Allen Moskal has first-hand knowledge of just how much heat I personally took when battling frequently with the Village to remain compliant with the Open Meetings Act under Rybak, especially during those 2014 Tax Hike Threats.  At this point, there should be no excuse whatsoever for an agenda to go out with an error like this and while it would be easy to blame the Deputy Clerk for not catching it, the Planning Commission agenda shows that Clerk Moskal has yet to put forth a template and set of rules when a Committee is creating an agenda for posting.  That leaves the Deputy Clerk open for unfair criticism since policy and procedure is supposed to come from the top down, something Moskal pledged to address if he was elected Clerk.

All in all, this is but another example of the chaos coming from Village Hall under the “leadership” of Mayor L’Heureux that L’Heureux once complained about coming from the Rybak administration…including illegal meetings being held.  Except this time around, he’s the one in charge and these illegal meetings are being held on his watch and under his roof.

It took direct intervention from Dart’s office to bring Rybak and former Village Clerk Michael Kohlstedt’s shenanigan’s to a halt…eventually.

Time to go write up that complaint and send it off so I can spend the rest of the night not worrying about who will speak out about these types of problems at a time when criticism of public officials here in Midlothian is even more dangerous than in the past…

Posted in Advanced Midlothian Politics Special Projects by Valerie, AMP Call For Investigation, AMP Nationwide (USA), AMP Notes On Former Public Officials, AMP Notes On Local LEO's, AMP Notes on Public Officials, • Allen Moskal (Midlothian Village Clerk), • Carl Ivan (Village Trustee), • Daniel Delaney (Police Chief), • Diversion of Government Assets, • Donald "Don" Killelea (Village Trustee), • End Inequal Access To Justice NOW, • Equal Access To Justice For All Not Some, • Gary L'Heureux (Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Jerome "Jerry" Gillis, Jr. (Village Trustee), • Karen Kreis (Village Trustee), • Kathleen "Kathy" Caveney (Village Trustee), • Michael Kohlstedt (former Village Clerk), • Midlothian Police Chief Daniel Delaney, • OMA Violations, • Personal Profiteering For Political Gain, • Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Regular OMA Violations, • Sandy Crowley (Village Trustee), • Sharon Rybak (former Mayor/President of Midlothian), • Text Talk, • Thomas Dart (Cook County Sheriff/Public Corruption), • Village of Midlothian Illinois (Village Hall), Entries based on municipal unit, Midlothian Valerie Originals, Midlothian Valerie True Community Policing Demonstrations, Valerie's Voice

Sparing You the FOIA: Harvey Continues to Hide Codes At Great Cost To City

I admit I have little patience or compassion for any municipal unit that hides its book of laws and rules.  Typically, they are called “municipal code books” and they are supposed to contain all of the ordinances passed by a municipality in a codified format for all to use.  There is no excuse for this kind of obstruction to the most widely used facet of our justice system–that of the local level.  Talk about inequal access to justice!

The City of Harvey has been hoarding its municipal codes from the public for quite some time, at at great expense to the city.  For example, what investor and/or developer wants to blindly trust and rely on a building department to inform them of what building codes they will need to comply with, especially since building department staff members are not lawyers?  Not many.

Many quality investors and/or developers have lawyers ready and able to review a municipalities building codes before investing money into the planning stages of a project.  It’s called performing due diligence.  In addition, how is any member of the public able to report a property owner for violation(s) of building codes if they don’t have access to such codes?  The short answer is–they can’t.

I’ve known about the Harvey Public Library being absent of current copies of the City’s municipal code book for a few years now, bringing it up in conversation only on rare occasion with a government official.

However, I decided a few weeks ago it was time to FOIA request the building code section of the municipal code book just to see if the City has adopted anything more recent than the BOCA National Mechanical Code/1993 Edition as published by Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. as stated in the 2013 online version–especially since the last BOCA code book was published in 1999, when the International Building Codes (IBC) took over around 2000.

Anyway, I sent my FOIA request, was asked for an additional 5 days (which was fine) and well…it’s been over 10 days since I submitted my request.

Therefore, in sparing everyone the FOIA request, here is my request, the response and my complaint I filed tonight with the Public Access Counselor’s Office.

Just a side trivia tidbit – The International Code Council is headquartered in Country Club Hills (formerly known as Building Officials and Code Administration International, Inc.)

*************************

Dear PAC Office,

I would like to file complaint against the City of Harvey for their refusal to fulfill my FOIA request for a copy of their building codes contained within their municipal code book. I have attached the original FOIA request, as well as Ms. Cheryl Anderson’s request for an additional 5 days to respond.

The City of Harvey has a specific ordinance calling for two copies of their entire municipal code book to be available in the City of Harvey Public Library as follows:

1-04-060 Distribution of code.

A. Two copies of this code shall be deposited with the city’s public library for general public reference and use. Sufficient copies shall be distributed to the mayor, the aldermen, the city clerk, the city comptroller, the city treasurer and the heads of the various agencies and departments of city government for their respective use.

As it has been related to me by reference staff at the library, the copy the library has in its possession has not been updated in at least 8 years and the online version located at https://www.codepublishing.com/IL/Harvey/ has not been updated since March 25, 2013. Therefore, it is my opinion that this creates both cause and reason for a FOIA request to be submitted for a current copy of their building codes (Title 15: Buildings and Construction) as well as a complaint to be filed with your office in response to their refusal to respond in any manner.

Thank you in advance for your assistance with this matter.

Regards,

Valerie Weiskirch

——– Forwarded Message ——–
Subject: RE: FOIA Request For Building Codes
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2018 19:42:55 +0000
From: Cheryl Anderson <CAnderson@cityofharvey.org>

Good afternoon Valerie ,

I am requesting an extension of 5 additional days to get this information out to.

Cheryl Anderson

—–Original Message—–

Sent: Monday, November 12, 2018 1:53 AM
To: Cheryl Anderson <CAnderson@cityofharvey.org>
Subject: FOIA Request For Building Codes

Dear Ms. Anderson,

I would like to FOIA request a digital copy of all current City of Harvey’s Building Codes contained in the City of Harvey’s Municipal Code Book. This should include all sections pertaining to the building codes used by the City of Harvey regardless of their location in the municipal code book.

As this is not a commercial request and also undeniably in the public’s interest to have full and complete access to the laws governing the physical structures of the City of Harvey, I am asking for a waiver of all fees. My intent is to publish the results online as soon as I receive them so that all can have access to such critical content being applied upon the Harvey community, especially when it comes to the condition of properties in Harvey and possible remedies for such conditions.

Please email me the results to the address listed above.

For the record, I would not have to make this request to your office if the City of Harvey was in compliance with its own laws that dictate that 2 current copies of the Harvey Municipal Code Book are to be available at the Harvey Public Library. In fact, it has been at least 8 years since their paper copies have been updated and 5 years since the online version has been updated.

Perhaps this is something that you can personally follow through on so that not only the City is in compliance with its own laws, but that equal access to the justice system in Harvey is provided to all of its citizens, as well as any current and potential investors in the community. Please understand I feel quite strongly that there never has been, and there never will be, any excuse to obstruct the public from the full book of laws governing over their daily lives–not even a suggestion of it being “too expensive” or even “unduly burdensome” to consistently publish and distribute said laws.

Thank you in advance for your help with this matter.

Regards,

Valerie Weiskirch

Posted in Advanced Midlothian Politics Special Projects by Valerie, AMP Call For Investigation, AMP Nationwide (USA), AMP Notes on Public Officials, • City of Harvey Illinois, • Correcting Problem Behaviors From Public Officials, • Diversion of Government Assets, • End Inequal Access To Justice NOW, • Equal Access To Justice For All Not Some, • Eric Kellogg (Mayor/President City of Harvey Illinois), • Harvey Wall Research, • Local Municipal Code Books, • Municipal Code Books, • Municipal Corruption, • No FOIA Required Collection, • Public Domain Documents, Cheryl Anderson (Harvey Deputy Clerk/FOIA Officer), Entries based on municipal unit, Local Controversies, Midlothian Valerie News Story Coverage, Midlothian Valerie True Community Policing Demonstrations, The 2018 Call For A Kellogg Resignation, Valerie's Voice

Sparing You the FOIA: Request to Restore 2014 & 2015 Meeting Minutes to Village Website

***This was sent Thursday, November 29, 2018 – Part of why municipalities hoard public documentation behind FOIA requests is so that they can track who is interested in the content, as well as having option to publish a list of those who requested such information.  When it comes to municipal code books, meeting minutes and agendas, this is especially dangerous as it allows the municipal unit to create an offensive “weapon” against those seeking basic, and yet critical information about government actions and activities…especially when it comes to people deciding who to vote for in an election***

Dear Clerk Moskal,

At last night’s meeting, I made a statement regarding the results of the Deputy Clerk’s research into why the 2014 and 2015 meeting minutes were no longer on the website, along with my discovery of Ms. Maria Kolacki having a newly(?) invented third job title of “Executive Assistant to the Mayor.”

It was stated that the meeting minutes were “… were not archived on the website back in 2014 and 2015” which remains an outrageous suggestion, especially since even you were the beneficiary of those documents being readily available online on the Village’s website while in your role as Trustee.

As I was the one who was busy filing complaints with both Sheriff Dart’s office regarding issues like missing agendas back in 2014 regarding the Tax Hike threat, let alone my complaints to the PAC office regarding missing agendas and meeting minutes, my own research suggests that when the website was “upgraded” by CivicsPlus, somehow those minutes “disappeared” from the archives, which is far more plausible. This is an issue I will be looking into more in 2019.

With that said, you campaigned on a pledge of transparency and unity when you ran for the Village Clerk seat. Your office is accountable for the documentation held by the Village, including distribution. Therefore, I am asking that you put aside all personal thoughts and feelings towards me and choose to embrace the solution I am offering your office to cure up this issue of the Village hoarding its public documentation that holds important information the public has a right to know at their convenience and without the Village tracking such a request.

DC Kolacki stated that I was free to FOIA request the minutes and that she would send them along to me. I am going to go ahead and send two separate FOIA requests, even though it should be duly noted I will be doing the requests under protest as there should be no need for a request in the first place.

The first will be a request for the agendas and meeting minutes for 2015 and the second will be for the agendas and meeting minutes for 2014. Both contain details and information the public needs to have access to, especially as this election season progresses forward.

I will be borrowing from the technique that the Federal Bureau of Investigations uses to handle FOIA requests to their offices. Whenever I FOIA information from them, I receive an email with a link that leads me to their website in which I have 48 hours to download the results before the link expires.

As both sets of documents should already be in digital format, instead of my requesting the documents to be sent to me via Dropbox or some other external service (as the files will be too large to send via email), I am going to request these documents to be posted to the Village’s website so that I can go ahead and download them–as well as anyone else who wishes to read these important documents–without taking away even more time from DC/EA to the Mayor Kolacki’s time.

Lastly, not once was it suggested I would have to pay any fees for any documents requested during the tenure of former Village Clerk Michael Kohlstedt. Under your watch as Village Clerk, it was recently told to me in connection to one of my request for information regarding Village employees/elected officials/appointed officials that fees could be assessed and that if I refused to pay them, the Village would take actions to collect such a debt.

As we both know that the results for both my requests for agendas and minutes will be over 50 pages, I remain concerned that a threat of fees being attached to my request will once again be applied to the request. Please understand that I am fully prepared to separate out each and every meeting into individual requests, thus avoiding all fees–but what a waste of time and resources for the Village to have to manage and maintain said emails, right?

Especially when others decide to request the same collection of public documents from the Village.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation with this matter.

Regards,

Valerie Weiskirch

*****Original response from Deputy Clerk/FOIA Officer Maria Kolacki 11/27/2018 when I asked what happened to the minutes and agendas via a phone call the day before****

Valerie,

I did some research and apparently the Minutes were not archived on the website back in 2014 and 2015. Therefore, you will need to submit a FOIA requesting the Minutes and I will forward those to you.

Maria Kolacki
Deputy Clerk/Executive Assistant to the Mayor
Village of Midlothian

***FOIA Request for 2014 Collection***

Dear Maria,

First, I wish to make note that I am filing this FOIA request under protest as these documents were once available on the website and thus, I should not need to make any request to access them.

With that stated, I would like to request a digital copy of all agendas and meeting minutes for 2014 for all board meetings, committee meetings and special meetings, including the agenda and minutes associated with the Town Hall meeting held in late 2014 regarding a proposed Tax Hike.

As the file size of such a request will be too large for emailing, please upload all of these documents to the Village’s website located at http://www.villageofmidlothian.net in the Agendas and Minutes section of the site and notify me via email when they are available, similar to how the FBI handles FOIA requests to their office.

I am requesting a waiver of all fees as this is a non-commerical request.

Thank you in advance for your assistance with this request.

Regards,

Valerie Weiskirch

***FOIA Request for 2015 Collection***

Dear Maria,

First, I wish to make note that I am filing this FOIA request under protest as these documents were once available on the website and thus, I should not need to make any request to access them.

With that stated, I would like to request a digital copy of all agendas and meeting minutes for 2015 for all board meetings, committee meetings and special meetings.

As the file size of such a request will be too large for emailing, please upload all of these documents to the Village’s website located at http://www.villageofmidlothian.net in the Agendas and Minutes section of the site and notify me via email when they are available, similar to how the FBI handles FOIA requests to their office.

I am requesting a waiver of all fees as this is a non-commerical request.

Thank you in advance for your assistance with this request.

Regards,

Valerie Weiskirch

Posted in Advanced Midlothian Politics Special Projects by Valerie, AMP Call For Investigation, AMP Nationwide (USA), AMP Notes On Former Public Officials, AMP Notes on Public Officials, • Allen Moskal (Midlothian Village Clerk), • End Inequal Access To Justice NOW, • Equal Access To Justice For All Not Some, • Maria Kolacki (Village Deputy Clerk), • Michael Kohlstedt (former Village Clerk), • Municipal Unit Agendas and Minutes, • No FOIA Required Collection, • Public Domain Documents, • Village of Midlothian Illinois (Village Hall), Entries based on municipal unit, Interference With Basic Needs, Valerie's Voice