Illinois Attorney General’s office is investigating meeting of a “quorum” of Norridge officials with School District 80’s “Save the Band”
Village of Norridge trustees Ursula Kucharski, Jackie Gregorio, Daniel Tannhauser and Donald Gelsomino, representing a “quorum” of village officials attended a Save the Band meeting on or about March 13, 2018 at the Eisenhower library.
In the Village of Norridge initial response to the complaint, Norridge claimed that four trustees were present in a personal capacity and not as village officials.
The Open Meetings Act defines “meeting” as any gathering in which a “quorum” of public officials are in attendance regarding public business and therefore governed by the Open Meetings Act.
The Village of Norridge has already partnered with the Norridge School District 80’s “Save the Band” committee by selling “Save the Band” t-shirts at the Village hall during normal business hours and advertising that fact on their official Village of Norridge Facebook page.
Furthermore, the Village of Norridge promotes the “Save the District 80 Band Program” at their own Village of Norridge website in their 2018 State of the Village statement, signed by James Chmura (Norridge Village President). The 2018 State of the Village, including the promotion of the “Save the District 80 Band Program”, was included in the mailing of our latest water bill.
This is not the first time the Village of Norridge has been accused of violating the Open Meetings Act and has been ruled in violation by the Attorney General’s Office previously on more than one occasion.
“Open and honest government is the cornerstone of American democracy, and it can only be achieved through the free exchange of information between the government and its citizens.
The Office of the Attorney General is committed to supporting and enforcing the principle of open government embodied in two important Illinois laws: the Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140) and the Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120). Both are critical tools in shining light on government action, and ultimately strengthening our democracy.”
LISA MADIGAN Attorney General State of Illinois
A Guide to the Open Meetings Act can be found here.