Monday, April 14, 2008

Illinois: New Policy of Pardon Secrecy

Today's Chicago Sun-Times reports that Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) will not "open the books" on many pardons he has granted. The Sun-Times reports executive clemency files maintained by the Prisoner Review Board "typically show police reports, court records and letters of recommendation -- all accessible from the agency in the past." But Blagojevich's administration is now denying access to documents regarding the dozens of pardons he has granted by rejecting a Freedom of Information Act request from the Chicago Sun-Times. In 2003, Blagojevich's administration allowed access to most executive clemency files, but a Blagojevich spokeswoman refused to answer questions about the policy shift.

The governor has received criticism for pardoning Chandra Gill from a felony battery conviction and for granting a pardon that expunged the felony of a former employee in his office, Sharon Latiker who, as an employee, stole $17,000 from the city treasurer's office. The Sun-Times notes the pardon "came shortly before [Latiker] launched unsuccessful bids to unseat House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, a top lieutenant to Blagojevich's chief legislative nemesis, House Speaker Michael Madigan." See story here.

No comments:

blogger templates | Make Money Online