WOOD RIVER — Democratic candidate for Madison County recorder Shannon Bradford held a press conference Thursday at Laborers Local 338 in Wood River to announce that her campaign committee, Citizens for Shannon Bradford, has requested an Illinois attorney general’s investigation of the Madison County Recorder’s office for violations of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
“On February 3, 2016, the Citizens for Shannon Bradford filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the office of Madison County Recorder Amy Meyer seeking documents related to the recorder’s calendar, various emails, and spending by the recorder’s office,” Bradford said. “In their response to our request, the Recorder’s Office committed multiple violations of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, including failing to disclose multiple documents and redacting other documents without citing any legal basis to do so as required by the FOIA statute.
“Pursuant to the provisions of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, our campaign sent a letter to the Illinois attorney general’s public access counselor earlier this week asking for an investigation and review of the Madison County recorder’s response to our FOIA request,” Bradford said. “The public has a right to know why information is being withheld by Ms. Meyer’s office in clear violation of the state’s FOIA statute.
“At this stage, one can only speculate as to what Ms. Meyer may be trying to hide and why her office is not properly complying with the state’s sunshine laws,” Bradford said. “One has to wonder if the redacted and withheld documents may shine more light on Ms. Meyer’s practice of law on taxpayers’ time, wasteful spending, and use of her office for political purposes.
“This type of secretive behavior by establishment politicians is exactly why people have lost faith in government,” Bradford said. “As the next recorder, thorough transparency will be my highest priority because public officials should serve their constituents, not special interests and political insiders.”
At the start of the press conference, attendees were provided with a copy of the letter sent to the Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor by Citizens for Shannon Bradford as well as a copy of their original FOIA request and the response of the Madison County Recorder’s Office.
Meyer could not immediately be reached for comment.