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October 22, 2014, 4:41 pm
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The Council Roundup

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Protective Order Filed In Document Destruction Case

Another legal motion is on the books in the ongoing saga over destruction of Springfield Police internal affairs records and this time Calvin Christian is asking that all internal communications discussing his requests and the destruction of the files be retained and copied.


The suit asks the city to produce and preserve the communications related to the destruction of the files to be used in a possible criminal investigation after Christian filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the files dating back five years.  


After the initial request, Springfield's police chief and the police union agreed to change the retention of IA files from 5 to 4 years. 


Last week Aldermen Sam Cahnman moved to freeze future file destruction, but that ordinance failed to get the necessary 8 votes needed for emergency passage.  Seven aldermen voted for the ordinance.  Three others joined the mayor in voting no.


This Tuesday, the Springfield City Council will discuss the failed ordinance and a separate move to formally request an investigation by the Illinois Attorney General.


David Joens, the director of the Illinois State Archives, says that the destruction of documents without a certificate of destruction from the local records commission could be a Class 4 Felony.


Cahnman has another ordinance before the council committee of the whole that would require changes to union contracts be approved by aldermen.


Christian's most recent suit, filed Monday in Circuit Court, also states he requested certificates of destruction the city has on file from as far back as 2008 and the originally requested files did not have a certificate of destruction as required by law.  Mayor Mike Houston says 30 files were destroyed.


Christian's attorney, Don Craven, says that a judge will hear the motion Wednesday.

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