City Council Tables Shredding Lawsuit Agreement
We have a follow-up now to an ABC Newschannel 20 exclusive.
As we reported last week, police blogger Calvin Christian dropped his demands for the city to identify those involved in the police document shredding controversy, and has reportedly accepted a six-figure deal offered by the city to drop his lawsuit.
After city council tabled the agreement, it dawned on us that in recent court documents, the city admits to "willfully and intentionally" destroying the internal affairs documents of Police Deputy Chief Cliff Buscher. But the admission stops short of identifying those that took part.
With that in mind, we wanted to know why Mayor Mike Houston refuses to name names or take punitive action against those involved. When we asked him after the city council meeting Tuesday night, here's how the conversation went:
Vince DeMentri: Mr. Mayor, the city has admitted that they willfully and intentionally destroyed Deputy Chief Buscher's file. Broke the law, knowing that it was under FOIA. Certainly, they have to know who was responsible. You know who's responsible, sir. Who are they?
Mayor Houston: You may know who is responsible, and you certainly have better records, apparently, than the city, as a result of having internal affairs documents. But I don't have that information.
Vince DeMentri: So are you saying you don't know who's responsible?
Mayor Houston: I'm indicating that I'm waiting for...
Vince DeMentri: That wasn't the question. Do you know who's responsible, sir?
Mayor Houston: I'm waiting for an investigation to be conducted, and when that investigation has been completed, we will then have whatever discipline is warranted.
Vince DeMentri: But you've already admitted that you've done this. Surely you have to know the people involved. Why are you so reluctant to tell us and take action against these people?
City communications director Nathan Mihelich: You just asked him that question, and he's already answered it.
The status of the investigation by the state police and the Illinois Appellate Attorney's office is unknown, because neither agency will comment.
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