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Public Records Case Law

July 24, 2009 in Illinois

In a recent Illinois court case the 4th District Court of Appeals in Springfield has ruled internal affairs files are a public record regardless of the outcome of the probe.

I, for one, would be curious to learn if this same case law could be applied to other forms of government entities, such as Child Protective Services internal investigations. If so, this could have far reaching ramifications for those seeking justice for their children.

As public servants, their files should be open to public scrutiny. It’s time we held these agencies accountable for their actions.

Excerpts below, Read more…

Appeals court declares police internal affairs files public records

In a case some argue could throw open the long-standing secrecy behind police internal investigations, the 4th District Court of Appeals in Springfield has ruled internal affairs files are a public record regardless of the outcome of the probe.

Attorneys specializing in Illinois public records law said Thursday it is the first such ruling of its kind in the state and therefore binding on trial courts statewide. It could also have repercussions for long-running complaints about Chicago police brutality.

“This opinion is part and parcel of a general feeling that government in Illinois needs to be more transparent than it has been,” said attorney John Myers, who argued the case on behalf of Springfield dentist G. Mark Gekas.

Police and government agencies have long denied public access to records of internal affairs investigations, citing a portion of state law that protects citizens from a “clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”

The appellate court shot down that argument.

“What he does in his capacity as a deputy sheriff is not his private business,” Appleton wrote. “Whether he used excessive force or otherwise committed misconduct during an investigation or arrest is not his private business. Internal-affairs files that scrutinize what a police officer did by the authority of his or her badge do not have the personal connotation of an employment application, a tax form, or a request for medical leave.”

Slash the Budget!

June 16, 2009 in DCFS, Illinois, parental rights

Slash the Budget!

Apparently, this concerned doctor simply doesn’t realize just how poorly run the DCFS is and how all that money is cheating children our of their family, friends and home. If we really want to help children, we will prosecute abusive parents in criminal court, where the laws of evidence and procedure have a much better chance of getting to the truth.

We must stop this witch hunt that is destroying the very fabric of this nation — the family!

Support abused children by supporting income tax increase

June 16, 2009

As physicians who have spent our careers providing care for one of societies most vulnerable populations – abused and neglected children – we are horrified to learn of the proposed 50 percent cut to the Department of Children and Family funding.

We must speak out because raped and injured children don’t vote and are often forgotten.

As many children die from child abuse as from cancer every year, but the only funding to combat the “deadly disease” of child abuse is from the state. It is imperative the public understand the proposed cuts involve not just the $460 million in state funding to DCFS, but will also result in a loss of an additional $92 million in federal funding. The agencies that rely on these funds to provide necessary care and preventive services to these children and their families already operate on shoestring budgets.

There are viable alternatives to the current proposed budget sitting on Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk.

We urge the legislature to consider the long overdue need for a modest increase in the currently low state income tax and also to re-prioritize the amount of money allocated for capitol improvement projects. The bridges and roads will look beautiful — but at what cost?

– Michele Lorand, MD, FAAP Chair, Division of Child Protective Services, Department of Pediatrics
– Jill Glick, MD, FAAP Medical Director, Child Protective Services
– John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County

Do take note of who is paying the good doctor’s salary.

In these hash economic times we need to cut spending where we can and I can’t think of too many better places to slash spending that at all our CPS offices, not just those in Illinois.

DCFS Scouting

February 13, 2008 in DCFS, foster care, Illinois

Here’s an alert to those of you in Illinois. DCFS is at it again and obviously needs to snatch more kids.

Today I was coming out to my car and there was a "henchman" from DCFS with a little boy who was trying to go to school and the DCFS shark had just gotten the boy to tell him where he lived.

I stopped in my tracks because I knew it didn’t look right and who was this man on our apartment complex. My daughter said it was DCFS.

He then took the boy to the school bus and came back in his car and started to go into the building obviously looking for the parents.

I took the opportunity to roll down my car window and call him a home wrecker, which he heard – good! I do not know the boy well enough to have taken him with me and do not know his parents only have seen him.

Anyway, I then learned from my daughter that DCFS had been at my apartment complex last week and took two little girls from their mother.

There is nothing wrong with this little boy – appropriately dressed, etc. and we see him each day – he’s 5 and does not know what is about to hit him. There was nothing wrong with the girls either.

I was told they were taken because they were in the middle of a fight by the parent and her boyfriend.

I intend to put up signs in the other buildings on my complex alerting parents, because I know they love to prey on single parents, apartments, those that are less fortunate, etc.

I didn’t confront the DFC henchman further because I still have 5 months to go until my daughter turns 18 and don’t want to invite any more encounters with them on myself. (My daughter has learned not to talk to them).

So, anyway warn your kids not to talk to them and beware – Illinois DCFS needs clients again!

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