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In August of 2017, we reported on a case out of Virginia involving a claim of First Amendment violations against an elected official who had deleted critical posts and blocked a poster from her Facebook page. In that case, the district court found that the county official had violated the First Amendment rights of the poster because (1) the official used her Facebook page as a “tool of governance” for keeping constituents informed of county…
The Illinois General Assembly recently enacted P.A. 100-1143 amending the Public Employee Disability Act (PEDA) to expand disability benefits. Currently, PEDA requires a state or local government employer to continue to pay a police officer or firefighter, who is injured in the line of duty and unable to perform his or her duties, the employee’s salary for a one year period without requiring the employee to use sick leave or other leave time. This new…
We wanted to send out a reminder that the Illinois Open Meetings Act requires Illinois public bodies to adopt an annual schedule of their regular meetings. So, before the end of the year, Illinois governments should schedule an item on an upcoming meeting agenda for the public body to approve the schedule of meetings for 2019. The annual schedule must include the times and places of all regular meetings. 5 ILCS 120/2.03. This requirement applies…
After Illinois Governor Rauner terminated the appointment of a member of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, the terminated member sued, claiming he was wrongfully terminated. The circuit court agreed, but that ruling was reversed by the Illinois Appellate Court, which held that the Governor’s decision to remove the IPRB member was not subject to judicial review. The case was eventually appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court in Gregg v. Rauner. In 2012, Gregg, the…
Ancel Glink’s podcast, Quorum Forum has released a new Episode 14 on elections. Information about this very timely episode is below: Local election season is underway, and you can’t win an election if you’re not on the ballot. That’s why Ancel Glink partner Keri-Lyn Krafthefer joins us to navigate you through the ballot access process, talking about nomination petitions, the statement of candidacy, the statement of economic interest, and more!  You can access this new…
A federal appeals court recently ruled in favor of a county being sued by a former employee who claimed the County violated her First Amendment rights by terminating her because of her political affiliation. The County hired Bogart as its Financial Resources Director in 2007.  Bogart is a Democrat. In 2012, several Republican candidates won election to the County Board, giving the Republicans majority control of the County Board. The Board selected a Republican as…
Three City officials sued a Township Assessor and Supervisor, and the Township itself, claiming the defendants had defamed them and cast them in a “false light” when the Township Supervisor sent a letter to newspapers, local officials, and others alleging that the City officials engaged in criminal acts in connection with property exemptions. One of the letters from the Supervisor stated that he had “discovered how several current and former public servants used their inside…
We have written in the past about how court’s have interpreted social media “friendship,” particularly in the legal or ethical sense when there is a question about bias or impartiality. A Florida Supreme Court recently issued a ruling weighing in on this issue involving an attorney’s Facebook “friendship” with a judge who was assigned to one of the attorney’s cases.  A law firm had filed a motion to disqualify the judge in a case because…
The PAC just issued a binding opinion that sheds some light on how the Attorney General interprets recent changes to the Juvenile Court Act and FOIA.  PAC Op. 18-016. A law firm that routinely files FOIA requests with municipal police departments for traffic accident reports submitted a request to the Rock Island PD for a particular accident report. The PD denied the request, citing section 7.5(bb) of FOIA and section 1-7(A) of the Juvenile…
Courthouse News Service had filed the federal lawsuit against the Cook County Circuit Court claiming that the Court violated its First Amendment rights when it failed to provide immediate access to newly filed complaints. The district court ruled in its favor and issued an injunction ordering the Circuit Court Clerk to implement a system that would provide access to newly filed complaints contemporaneously with the Clerk’s receipt of those complaints. On appeal, the Seventh Circuit…