CHICAGO - Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar-Topinka responded to For the Good of Illinois' CEO Adam Andrzejewski's FOIA lawsuit filed Friday, saying Andrzejewski "did not realize" the information he wants is already available online:
"In his rush to hold a press conference, I’m afraid that Mr. Andrzejewski did not realize that an up-to-date record of every dollar the state spends is immediately available on Comptroller Topinka’s transparency website, The Ledger," office spokesman Brad Hahn said to IR. "To be clear: there is no magical “state checkbook” for him to flip through. But all the information that is legally available is online, and we would be happy to help him find whatever he’s looking for."
Andrzejewski was quick to retort, saying if the Comptroller's office can't provide the FGI's request, her "office is a mess," which is no excuse for her office to disobey the law. Her refusal to cooperate, he said, begs the question, "What is the Comptroller hiding?"
FGI's requested the Comptroller to provide a data copy of Illinois' checkbook for one year - 2011.
Andrzejewski cited numerous government entities that had provided much more information to his transparency group, with much less resistance.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office provided the City of Chicago's checkbook for 10 years within 10 days, approproximately 6.8 milion transactions equalling $74 Billion. The federal government provided 52 million transactions, state colleges and universities provided seven years of check books to For the Good of Illinois for examination.
"All of these were larger requests than we're making of the Comptroller's office," Andrzejewski said. "This begs the question, 'What is the Comptroller hiding?"
More to come ...