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October 21, 2014, 8:29 am
970 WMAY News

Aldermen Fail to Pass Ordinance Freezing File Destruction

Springfield Aldermen failed to pass an ordinance that would require records to get a certificate of destruction from the local records commission according to Illinois law, before those files are destroyed.


The ordinance, on emergency passage, was in response to the Springfield Police Department's accelerated schedule of destruction of internal affairs files from 5 to 4 years.


That action, which changed the agreement between the city and the police union, was done without the council's approval and in light of several FOIA requests for the documents.


Aldermen Gail Simpson, Doris Turner, and Frank Lesko joined Mayor Mike Houston in voting against the ordinance.  Ordinances on emeregency passage requires 8 votes for passage.


Several aldermen and the director of labor relations said there are 23 different bargaining units and each one has different standards dealing with the retention of files and that passage of the ordinance could change those contracts.


Aldermen could bring the ordinance back up for a vote next week after more legal opinions are provided.


The city is being sued by the individual who requested the prematurely destroyed documents and Houston requested Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to investigate if the actions were appropriate.

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