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September 18, 2014, 8:48 pm
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Judge Orders Champaign To Turn Over Aldermen's E-Mails, Text Messages Sent During City Council Meetings


A Sangamon County judge has delivered what some are calling a landmark ruling, requiring the city of Champaign to turn over copies of e-mails and even text messages sent by aldermen during city council meetings. 

 

Judge John Schmidt’s ruling… said to be the first of its kind in the state… finds that those communications are part of the public record… even if they were transmitted from an alderman’s personal cell phone. 

 

The city had tried to withhold some of those messages… but a Champaign newspaper and the state attorney general’s office argued that aldermen cannot use personal devices to shield themselves from disclosing communications during public meetings.

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