* I thought secret police arrest reports were only for dictatorships.
Who woulda thunk that Gov. Pat Quinn’s handpicked State Police Director would want to continue this goofy policy…
Turn the records over. That’s what Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office has told Acting Illinois State Police director Jonathon Monken, who has refused to release reports chronicling the drunken driving arrest of Springfield parks director Michael Stratton.
Monken on Tuesday morning told The State Journal-Register, which asked for the reports, that he believes releasing the documents might even be a crime.
But a senior aide to Madigan late in the day informed Monken via letter that the reports are public records that must be released. And in an interview, another Madigan aide characterized the state police’s position as “absurd.” Click here to see a PDF of the letter.
Releasing police reports is a crime? Strange. The last time I checked, Stratton wasn’t a candidate for rendition. Besides, those days are supposed to be over.
* And check out how the goo-goos in the Quinn administration have reacted…
Jay Stewart, senior counsel to the governor, who called for open government while director of the Better Government Association, has not responded to interview requests. Katherine Ridgway, Quinn spokesman, has not responded to several requests asking whether the governor believes the records should be released.
On Tuesday, Ridgway said the governor’s office would have more information “later” regarding the record request and the attorney general’s opinion that the documents must be released.
On Wednesday, Ridgway did not respond to queries about what the governor’s staff has told Monken, including the question of whether the governor’s staff believes the records should be released.
Ridgway said she would get back to a reporter, but did not call back before close of business Wednesday.
Stewart was at the forefront of pushing for open records for years. And now he’s mum? Jay… buddy… what the heck are you doing?
* The SJ-R grazed the heart of the problem in its editorial today…
In the case of a public records request for Springfield Park District director Mike Stratton’s arrest report, we fear Monken is being led astray by the old bulls at the agency who want to defend the status quo at any cost. It’s time for Gov. Pat Quinn, a longtime proponent of open government, to step in and remind the ISP who is in charge.
This is what happens when you appoint a 29-year-old with zero experience to run the Illinois State Police. He has to go out of his way not to offend the old bulls. And this records thing won’t be the end of it, either. They’re obviously leading him around by the nose.
Heckuva job, Patty.
* IEA all for due process, but only for teachers: Former history teacher and state Rep. Bill Black, R-Danville, called the union”s stand hypocritical. “The great thing that the IEA has done for teachers is bring in due process. When I became a teacher in 1963, you could be fired for any reason. The IEA changed that by advocating for members. I guess they are all for due process when it involves one of their members — but not when it is someone like Mr. Bauman,” he said.