Questions mount on Library OMA violations

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A November 17, 2009 “Letter of Intent,” between the DeKalb Public Library (DPL) and DeKalb Clinic Chartered, Inc., was obtained by a DeKalb County Online FOIA request filed July 12, 2010. This Letter of Intent, which was approved in closed session during a Special Meeting of the DeKalb Public Library Board of Directors on November 18, 2009, calls for initial earnest money deposit of $10,000.00 upon signing and delivering an offer to purchase. An additional $25,000 was required upon the DPL’s ability to satisfy all of the contingencies set forth in Paragraph 10 of the Letter of Intent.

Among those contingencies:

Consummating a satisfactory agreement and/or resolution between Purchaser (DPL) and the City of DeKalb, if required, authorizing the purchase of the property by Purchaser.

According to Gary Cordes, DPL attorney, the board had convened in closed session at its May 12 meeting to discuss property acquisition and in its excitement that an agreement had been reached, failed to end the closed session and approved the deal in executive session. Such action would indicate that the contingencies outlined in the Letter of Intent were met — including necessary intergovernmental agreements with the City of DeKalb.

DeKalb County Online has filed a FOIA request with the City of DeKalb asking for all relative correspondence between the City and the DPL as well as any reports of meetings filed by assistant City Manager, Rudy Espiritu, who has attended multiple closed session meetings with the DPL. A similar FOIA request will be filed with Re:New DeKalb, whose Board of Directors include Dee Coover with the DeKalb Public Library and Alice Freier with the DeKalb Clinic.

Through Cordes, the DPL has admitted violating the Illinois Open Meetings Act at its May 12, 2010 meeting. John  Farrell, DeKalb County States Attorney, has filed a letter of inquiry to ask the board “to explain what happened and why the violation has occurred and how they intend to remedy the situation for the future.”

Cordes has told the media that the board will vacate the motion approved in May in closed session, at its next meeting in August, then turn around and make a new motion, in open session, to authorize the agreement.

A request for review filed with the Illinois Attorney General’s office on July 14, 2010 asks for the sale to be negated.

1 COMMENT

  1. Mac, It seems to me if the current board and director (with perhaps the involvement of Rudy Espiritu) have violated law, and are therefore guilty of a criminal misdemeanor, then they are no longer qualified to "redo" anything. John Farrell or the AG should move quickly to determine if the evidence supports the OMA criminal charge, and if so, negate the agreement. Then a new board must be seated before any further business can be conducted, including correctly proceeding about any property purchase. Can all this be accomplished before the August meeting? I don't know, but an investigation should proceed with all diligence. Thanks for doing your part in making this known.

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