TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2015
Double Standard Much Rahm?
Remember, you're "fetal," you're scared, you're second-guessing yourself.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office was more involved in a $20.5 million school contract with a now-indicted consultant than previously disclosed, public records indicate, but his administration has refused to release hundreds of emails that could provide a deeper understanding of how the deal came to be.
Emanuel and his aides have maintained that the mayor's office had nothing to do with the contract to provide leadership training for principals that is at the center of a federal bribery indictment against ex-schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and the consulting firm where she once worked.
When asked in April if his administration had any role at all in the SUPES contract, Emanuel told reporters, "No, you obviously know that by all the information available. And so the answer to that is no."
Yet the mayor's office and schools officials have been in an ongoing struggle with the Tribune over reporters' public records requests that could bear directly on the controversy, withholding many emails for months before releasing them, several so heavily redacted that little more than the subject line and addresses remain.
You will wear cameras, you will ride with cameras, you will have any cell phone video of your actions dissected and analyzed to the merest recorded electron.
Rahm, however, will fight for his privacy in court:
Illinois law says government officials' emails about taxpayer business are public records for all to see. But what if they're sent from private accounts or personal cellphones?
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel argues those are not for public consumption. The Chicago Tribune claims they are, and took the matter to court last month. Gov. Bruce Rauner had his own dust-up this summer over an aide's private emails, and the practice cost a University of Illinois chancellor her job in August.
The issue, once limited to scattered consternations over politicians playing fast and loose with new technology, is pervasive this year, beginning with revelations about Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server to conduct business while she was U.S. secretary of state — a case that spurred a lawsuit by The Associated Press.
Public-access advocates insist Illinois law is clear, and the state's attorney general and appellate court weighed in just two years ago, declaring that public business is public record — no matter how it's conducted.
So we can expect Lisa Madigan to back up her ruling by supporting the Tribune lawsuit?
Labels: city politics