Three ordinance put in front of Springfield aldermen dealing with the premature destruction of police internal affairs files faces a split council.
The council has again failed to move forward an ordinance that sponsors say simply makes the city follow the state law when it comes to destruction of public records. During Tuesday's Committee of the Whole, Aldermen voted 5-5 to place the ordinance on the debate agenda. It would need a majority to move forward.
The ordinance requires the city to get a certificate of destruction for any documents was in response to last month's destruction of IA files that were requested through FOIA.
Mayor Mike Houston was absent from Tuesday's meeting. Corporation Counsel Mark Cullen said that the mayor told him that he talked with the Attorney General's office and they requested the council hold off on passage of three ordinances dealing with the document destruction. Alderman Joe McMenamin says that is hearsay.
Alderman Sam Cahnman says he talked directly with the AG's office and they said that an investigation may be done through the State's Attorney's office, but didn't indicate the city should hold the request. The ordinance making certificates of destruction necessary failed to pass on emergency passage last week.
Another ordinance that would codify that memorandums of understanding should be signed by the mayor and approved by aldermen was placed on the debate agenda. The IA files were destroyed after a MOU was signed by the Cheif of Police and the police union president.
A third ordinance formally requesting the attorney general investigate the file destruction also was placed on the debate agenda. Some aldermen wanted to hold off on all three ordinances at the request of the mayor who requested an investigation from the AG last week.