State’s Attorney Candidates, And Transparency

We know where Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez stands on transparency issues:

  • She’s tried to exempt herself and all local prosecutorial agencies from the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, which guarantees public access to public records.
  • She’s refused to submit to the authority of Cook County’s inspector general, the in-house watchdog for county government.
  • She’s apparently never prosecuted any violation of the Illinois Open Meetings Act, which guarantees public access to public meetings.

 We recently did a few stories on Alvarez in conjunction with Mick Dumke, then of the Chicago Reader, now with the Chicago Sun-Times.
 
Click here and here and here to read them.
 
Those stories got us to thinking about where Alvarez’s March primary election opponents – Kim Foxx and Donna More – stand on transparency issues, so we asked them a series of questions.



The answers are attached here and here, but in short:

  • Both said they believe the state’s attorney’s office should be subject to FOIA.
  • They were split on whether the Cook County inspector general should be able to monitor the office. (Foxx said yes, More said the state-government IG has oversight.)
  • Both indicated they would prosecute Open Meetings Act violators.

This blog post was written and reported by the Better Government Association’s Robert Herguth, who can be reached at (312) 821-9030 or rherguth@bettergov.org.

Photos courtesy of candidates' websites.

About the Author

Robert Herguth

Robert Herguth oversaw investigative projects at the BGA from 2010 to 2016. He is a former assignment editor, assistant metro editor and reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times, and the former managing editor of the (Milwaukee) Business Journal.