Advanced Search

Evanston RoundTable | Evanston, IL
The Weather Network
Dreamtown spring

home : city news : city news
May 20, 2019

5/15/2019 2:36:00 PM
City Clerk Sues City, City Manager and Corporation Counsel
By Mary Helt Gavin

There is yet another lawsuit against City officials, and this one has arisen in-house. On May 7. City Clerk Devon Reid sued the City of Evanston, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz and Corporation Counsel Michelle Masoncup in a dispute over the handling of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

As City Clerk, Mr. Reid is the “custodian and keeper of all Evanston’s records,” the complaint states, and, as the appointed FOIA officer for the City, he has statutory responsibilities such as issuing responses under the FOIA and creating files to retain the responses and other communications relating to each FOIA request.

The City, however, through Ms. Masoncup and Mr. Bobkiewicz in their official capacities, produced body-worn camera footage in response to FOI requests without giving copies to the Clerk’s office, which, Mr. Reid alleges, circumvents his authority and responsibility as the City’s FOIA officer.

The complaint also alleges that, before Mr. Reid was elected, the practice was to give such copies to the Clerk’s office.

Mr. Bobkiewicz and Ms. Masoncup have also refused to give the Clerk unredacted copies of responses to certain FOI requests, the complaint alleges, because to provide them to the Clerk’s office would violate attorney-client privilege.

Mr. Reid’s complaint disputes that position, alleging that, as an officer of the City, which is Ms. Masoncup’s client, the privilege extends to him and that his obtaining unredacted copies of these documents would not waive the City’s attorney-client privilege.

As City Clerk, Mr. Reid is asking for “declaratory” relief, that is, a judgment from the Court that his position on both counts is correct. He is also asking that the City pay his attorney fees.

Ms. Masoncup told the RoundTable, “The City of Evanston operates within the statutory limitations established by the Illinois Body-Worn Camera Act and the Illinois Freedom of Information Act with respect to which individuals may review the body worn camera footage.  In addition, the attorney-client privilege is fundamental to the lawyer-client relationship. The City believes that the City Clerk cannot be the arbitrator of whether or not an individual has privacy rights with respect to these issues.”

Ms. Masoncup also said the City has hired not outside counsel to defend the case. 

As originally written, this article omitted mention of the City of Evanston as party to the lawsuit. It also stated that the City had hired outside counsel, but that, as of May 16, is not the case. 


Article Comment Submission Form

The RoundTable will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted.

Note: Your full name is required. Your telephone number and e-mail will not be posted. You may type your comments in the space below, or you may type them in a word document and cut and paste them in the space below.

Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Click to View Upcoming Events
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  
Submit Event

HomeVideosCommunity PostsObituariesClassifiedsAdvertiseAbout UsContact UsLinksLife
Copyright 2008-17 - Evanston RoundTable LLC, Evanston, IL 60202, 847-864-7741, All Rights Reserved

Software © 1998-2019 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved