BGA Sues Over Emails in Removal Of IHDA Chief

<p>The Better Government Association filed a lawsuit against the Illinois Housing Development Authority seeking the release of unredacted emails related to Gov. Bruce Rauner's ouster of the state agency's former executive director, Joseph Galvan.</p>

Matt Topic (773) 368-8812

Bob Secter (312) 821-9030

November 17, 2016

The Better Government Association filed a lawsuit against the Illinois Housing Development Authority seeking the release of unredacted emails related to Gov. Bruce Rauner's ouster of the state agency's former chairman.

Rauner in March rescinded the appointment of IHDA board chairman Joseph Galvan amid allegations that Galvan had been shaking down developers in a “pay to play” scheme involving his family’s consulting firm.

In light of the shakeup, the Better Government Association asked IHDA for emails that were sent between Galvan, whom Rauner appointed to the position in May 2015, and key officials during and after Galvan's final month on the job. IHDA responded to the requests by releasing a number of emails with most of the text blacked out.

The Better Government Association contends that its email request is covered by the Illinois Freedom of Information Act and that redacting the text amounted to a violation of the open records law.

As a result, the BGA filed a lawsuit against IHDA on Nov. 17 in Cook County Circuit Court challenging the redactions. The lawsuit claims that “it is the public policy of the State of Illinois that all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government…”

Here’s a link to all of the BGA’s legal actions.