Attorneys as FOIA Exemptions


This is a follow up to “The Housing Task Force, Its Surprise Consultant & Trust”.

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office of the Public Access Counselor notified me this week that its staff will review the denial of a related Freedom of Information Act request.

As I mentioned in the comments section of the post, DeKalb denied last month a FOIA request for records involving communications between Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins and city staff. The city claimed an exemption under attorney-client privilege in its denial. The exemption states:

(m) Communications between a public body and an attorney or auditor representing the public body that would not be subject to discovery in litigation, and materials prepared or compiled by or for a public body in anticipation of a criminal, civil or administrative proceeding upon the request of an attorney advising the public body, and materials prepared or compiled with respect to internal audits of public bodies.

Except that KTJ was clearly hired as a consultant, not as a legal representative. The letter describing scope of work says so, the mayor said so at the November Safe/Quality Task Force meeting, and now the Chronicle says so.

I’ll keep you, ah, posted.