Chicago Police Board Superintendent Search FOIA Redux

This is CJP’s second attempt to get documents related to the Chicago Police Board’s search for a new superintendent for the Chicago Police Department. Our first attempt during the height of the COVID outbreak in the US was ultimately unsuccessful in that the Board asked us to narrow our request even though the time frame from the firing of Superintendent Eddie Johnson (Dec 3, 2019) to the hiring of David Brown (April 20, 2020) was a whopping 139 days. The superintendent search process was definitely marred in political interference as Mayor Lightfoot admitted to interviewing candidates before the the Board even presented her with their shortlist for the position of superintendent.

Also as our research has shown the candidate David Brown has a history of sustained misconduct during his time in Dallas. Before becoming superintendent in Chicago Brown was found to have lied during an internal misconduct investigation and was suspended for a week. After releasing this research the Chicago media has failed to make the Mayor definitely answer whether she knew about Brown’s history of misconduct and failed to tell the residents of Chicago. These FOIA request are designed directly to find out what the Board and Mayor Lightfoot knew about this misconduct before hiring Brown to be the next superintendent.

FOIA Content

To:                   Chicago Police Board

Subject:           Documents relating to the Police Superintendent Search

In accordance with Definitions and Instructions below and the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140 et seq, I request that You provide the following public records:

FOIA A

  1. All documents, materials, records, electronic records and correspondence in any form submitted to You, the Chicago Police Board, or to any vendor retained by You or the Board regarding submissions for the 2019-2020 open position of Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department (i.e. the “Search”).

FOIA B

  1. To the extent not covered by FOIA A above: All documents, materials, records, electronic records and correspondence submitted by the three candidates the Board named as finalists and submitted to the Mayor’s Office for consideration following the Search:
  2. Kristen Ziman
  3. David Brown
  4. Ernest Cato

FOIA C

  1. All documents, materials, records, electronic records and correspondence in any form regarding or reflecting the April 2020 special public meeting held by the Chicago Police Board.

FOIA D.

  1. To the extent not covered by FOIA A above: All Communications, including but not limited to electronic communications and summaries of same (email, text, instant messaging of any kind, voicemail, etc.) to or from You, the Board or any member of the Board regarding the Search.

Please exclude from your response only communications that are specifically protected from disclosure by law (for example the application submissions of candidates other than the three finalists named above).  We are specifically asking for communications that are not related to any one particular candidate or candidate(s).

Without limiting the scope of this FOIA request in any way, the response to this request should include at a minimum all of the following:

  1. Electronic communications to or from the Board regarding Ziman, Brown, or Cato;
  2. Electronic communications to or from the Mayor’s Office or anyone from the Mayor’s Office regarding Ziman, Brown, or Cato;
  3. Electronic communications to or from the Chicago Police Department regarding Ziman, Brown, or Cato;
  4. Electronic communications to or from amongst Board members regarding Ziman, Brown, or Cato; and/or
  5. communications of any kind to or from anyone related to:
    1. the Search in general; and/or
    2. the press, publicity or public or private comments about the Search; and/or
    3. the press, publicity or public or private comments about the Board’s list of final candidates received; and/or
    4. the April 2020 special public meeting held by the Chicago Police Board.

FOIA E

  1. All records created by You or the Board regarding the Search that were not part of the records received as part of a submission from a potential candidate.

FOIA F

  1. All records received by You or the Board regarding the Search that were not part of the records received as part of a submission from a potential candidate.

FOIA G

  1. All calendar appointments for the Board or on the Board’s public or non-public calendars regarding the Search.

FOIA H

  1. All calendar appointments or entries by or for any member of the Board regarding the Search.

FOIA I

  1. All emails, text messages, instant messages, electronic communications and/or voicemail messages (or transcriptions of same) to or from any member of the Board regarding the Search, or the April 2020 special public meeting held by the Chicago Police Board.

FOIA J

  1. All emails, text messages, instant messages, electronic communications and/or voicemail messages (or transcriptions of same) between any member of the Board and the Mayor or the Mayor’s Office regarding the Search, or the April 2020 special public meeting held by the Chicago Police Board.

FOIA K

  1. Copies of all FOIA requests you received regarding the Search, and your responses to those FOIA requests.

FOIA L

  1. A list of all types or categories of records currently under Your control relating in any way to the Search, as provided in 5 ILCS 140/5.

FOIA M

  1. A description of the manner in which public records regarding the Search stored by means of electronic data processing may be obtained from You (in a form comprehensible to persons lacking knowledge of computer language or printout format), as provided in 5 ILCS 140/5.

FOIA N

  1. Records sufficient to show Your efforts to locate and produce the records requested in FOIAs A-M above. This should include:
  2. Where you searched for responsive Records and Documents.
  3. Who searched for responsive Records and Documents.
  4. Who was requested to produce responsive Records and Documents.
  5. The identity of any Records and Documents that were located but not produced for any reason.

DEFINITIONS
“Any,” “all,” “any/all,” “any or all,” “any and all,” “and,” “or,” and “and/or” are always to be interpreted inclusively to the greatest extent legally permitted.

“Document” and/or “Documents” means any documents or electronically stored information of any kind—including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, video recordings, sound recordings, images, databases, and other data or data compilations—stored in any medium from which information can be obtained either directly or, if necessary, after translation by the responding party into a reasonably usable form.

The “Board” means the Chicago Police Board.

The “Search” means the 2019-2020 Chicago Police Board’s search for candidates for the new Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, to replace former Supt. Eddie Johnson, and specifically includes any submissions for the open position of Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  This also includes the April 2020 special public meeting held by the Chicago Police Board.

“You” or “Your” means the Chicago Police Board, and any or all attorneys, employees, officers, directors, members, bureaus, offices, agents, divisions or subdivisions of same.

INSTRUCTIONS
If the agency withholds any document or information pertinent to the requests made herein, please identify the document or information in as much detail as is possible, and detail in specific language why each document or piece of information is being withheld.

If any information requested herein is withheld on the basis of a claim of privilege or other protection as material prepared in anticipation of litigation or trial, then that claim shall be made expressly in a writing that describes the nature of the Documents, Communications, or Things not produced or disclosed in a manner that will enable us to assess the applicability of the privilege or protection. With regard to each claim of privilege or protection, the following information should be provided in the response or the objection:

(a) the type of Document, e.g., letter or memorandum;

(b) general subject matter of the Document;

(c) the date of the Document;

(d) such other information as is sufficient to identify the Document for a subpoena duces tecum, including, where appropriate, the author, addressee, and any other recipient of the Document, and, where not apparent, the relationship of the author, addressee, and any other recipient to each other; and

(e) the nature of the privilege or protection;

(f) if applicable, the litigation or trial of which he document was created in anticipation.

If any Document identified herein has been lost, discarded, or destroyed, each such Document should be identified as completely as possible, including as to each such Document, its date, general nature (e.g., letter, memorandum, telegram, telex, photograph, computer printout), subject matter, each author or originator, each person indicated as an addressee or copy recipient, and its former custodian(s). In addition, as to each such Document, the following information shall be supplied:

(a) date of disposal, loss, or destruction;

(b) manner of disposal, loss, or destruction;

(c) reason for disposal or destruction, or any explanation of loss;

(d) persons authorizing the disposal or destruction;

(e) persons having knowledge of the disposal, destruction, or loss; and

(f) persons who destroyed, lost, or disposed or the Document or Thing.

 

I look forward to hearing from you in writing within five working days, as required by the Act 5 ILCS 140(3).  Please direct all questions or responses to this FOIA request to this email address by responding to this email. I can be reached at tsiska@chicagojustice.org

Tracy has nearly two decades of experience researching and working within criminal justice systems. When Tracy began pursuing a career dedicate to system reform, he found that no single organization existed to promote evidence-based discussions among law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. Recognizing that citizens in Chicago deserved the right to demand transparency in their criminal justice system, Siska established the Chicago Justice Project. He received his Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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