In a response prepared by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, it was found that the City of Nauvoo has not complied with the Freedom of Information Act in regards to requests submitted by us on February 28, 2017.  We have long contended that the Hotel Motel Board is in fact a public body, and part of Nauvoo City Government.  The Attorney General concurs, stating:

“the available information indicates that the Board ( 1) was created by the City and does not have a legal existence independent of the City as an entity, such as a not- for-profit corporation does; ( 2) the Board performs a public function delegated to it by the City; and ( 3) the Board is subject to a significant degree of control by the City. Applying the factors in Hopf, this office concludes that the Board is a subsidiary body of the City.”

With regards to our request to receive contracts related to the Hotel Motel Board (and other departments of the City), the Attorney General also supports our contention that they must be provided to us:

“the City cannot evade its fundamental obligation under FOIA to provide records where, as here, a FOIA request is directed to the City for records concerning the Board, whose members the City Council approves and whose operations the City oversees.”

Other elements of our request for review were also supported relating to lost documents, missing meeting minutes, etc. and instructed the City to “conduct an appropriate search for the tourism director’ s contract, minutes of the April 3, 2012, April 23, 2012, and April 27, 2012, Board meetings, and Board employee expenses and disclose all responsive records…”

We expect the City to comply quickly with the Attorney General’s instructions, and will post the responsive documents here.  This should put to rest the contention that the Hotel Motel Board is not part of the City, and a restructuring of how it operates and how contracts are granted should begin immediately.  There are other FOIA requests where the City has refused to provide documents, stating a desire to await this opinion (related to Hotel Motel finances, and how funds are collected and disbursed) and how meetings are conducted (see our outstanding Open Meetings Act Violation).  The City now must provide all documents requested.

This will also allow for a more detailed analysis of conflict of interest issues associated with this body.

The full opinion follows:

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Comments (2)

  • Doug

    It seems to me that the hotel/motel board gets about $50,000 a year in hotel taxes. They are charged by law with spending that money to promote tourism. What if they used that money to promote Nauvoo? Instead they give $40k of it to one person to manage and oversee the spending of the remaining $10k. Tax receipts are going down, tourism is going down, businesses are going down, but the two or three businesses that $10k is mostly used to promote are growing. HELP!!

    • Edward

      This is indeed a problematic point that you bring up Doug. When we add the numbers up, we are finding that 1 + 1 is not totaling 2. Apparently this is the new math promoted via Common Core. All the citizens have to do is follow the money trail and sadly much will be discovered that decent citizens are not wanting to see. The problem with following the money trail here is that the City is not abiding by Federal and State Court Rulings. That smacks of a smoking gun in the not so above board operations of the City government. Ideally the City will finally comply with the requests and come up with all the necessary requested and pertinent documents before the hearing which will cost the city aka taxpayers more money.

      One of the things I have found incredulous in this whole stonewalling by the city is that several citizens are blaming certain individuals for this mess. They are quick to judge in condemnation of those good people but slow to admit that the problems all arose because the City leaders did not, have not and I will surprised if they will follow the law, the opinion of the State’s Attorney General and the lower Courts.

      Just exactly like the unregistered pedophiles here in the area and cockroaches, whenever a light is shone on the cockroaches they run back and hide in the shadows. Anytime a City Official no matter the municipality, be it on the local level i.e. Nauvoo, the State or Federal Governments balks or stonewalls the handing over of accounting documentation, like the cockroach they run back in to the shadows. They put up a fight to keep their actions and activities or money trail hidden. Whenever the public trust is violated by Officials, it is extremely rare that it’s because of National Security or “identity” protection acts. It’s always because they don’t want to be discovered. As always happens and I hope the guilty parties here see this, IF and when criminal intent is established in these cases, the names of the accused are published in the local, state and or national newspapers, nightly news and so forth. Then even if the guilty somehow manages to escape justice, their names are then forever linked to corruption or other illegal activities thus further violating the public trust. This is exactly them saying to the very people who elected them, “I don’t care about you or your neighbor’s cat.”

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