Chicago sued over lead testing records
A government oversight group has sued Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration for allegedly failing to comply with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding lead testing in the city's public schools.
The Better Government Association (BGA) says it filed the request in June 2016, asking for emails sent between the Health Commissioner Julie Morita, the mayor and his staff.
While the city supplied some records, several were heavily redacted and others were withheld, the group maintains. The city's lawyers argue that some records were exempt because the senders were discussing proposed policies.
The BGA claims the redacted and withheld emails were not exempt, as some were discussions about the letters that were eventually sent to parents regarding lead levels and others discussed how Morita and Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool should address the lead problem when speaking with the public and media.
The lawsuit also questions the city's search for pertinent emails when fulfilling the BGA's request. It alleges that the city did not search the personal emails of Emanuel and other involved parties. A BGA lawsuit settled in December established that Emanuel used his personal email for city business.