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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Planned Parenthood Controversy | Aurora's Zoning Board of Appeals Orders Weisner Admin to Produce Documents

Aurora's Zoning Board of Appeals orders city officials
to produce hidden documents from PP controversy


Alayne Weingartz, the so-called corporation counsel and buddy for Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner, is desperately trying to hide something(s) from everyone's view in the Planned Parenthood controversy.

On Wednesday evening, the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) ordered Ms. Weingartz to produce several documents for the board and appellants.

Earlier in the day, attorneys for the appellants filed a Motion for Subpoenas to seek depositions of the city's Zoning Administrator (Ed Sieben), the city's building official (Herman Beneke) and the two outside "investigators" (Luetkehans and Martens).

That motion, along with the city's frivolous amended Motion to Dismiss, will be heard on January 7th.

The essence of the city's bizarre legal position is that zoning matters should not be heard by the zoning board of appeals since, according to Weingartz, no zoning determinations have been made since October 2006.

That appears to fly in the face of facts, the city's own statements and their own evolving zoning definitions. In recent filings, they have changed how they view the zoning for the Planned Parenthood facility.

It appears the City of Aurora is focused on being "less than forthcoming" instead of getting everything and everyone out in the open, thanks to the widespread deception and epidemic crisis at City Hall under the Weisner administration.

A large crowd assembled at the ZBA hearing, mostly pro-life supporters and a few Planned Parenthood supporters.

A major rally is planned at Ground Zero near Planned Parenthood Aurora on Saturday morning.

> Eric Schiedler's Report

> Motion for Subpoenas (pdf)

We strongly encourage review of the Motion for Subpoenas to help understand the full situation.

Also, check out these documents as well:

> Motion to Complete Record - Nov 28

> City's Amended Motion to Dismiss - Dec 5

> City's Response to Motion to Complete Record - Dec 7

Notes:

* City officials have been failing to comply with FOIA requests in violation of the law

* Alderman Rick Lawrence and Alderman Stephanie Kifowit both observed the hearing

* Attorneys Tom Brejcha and Peter Breen represented the appellants

* Chris Wilson, attorney for Planned Parenthood, appeared to sit a little further away this time from the so-called incompetent corporation counsel, Alayne Weingartz.

* Ed Sieben, the Zoning Administrator, was once again silent.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think this whole thing is so complicated because it was built on a very intricate web of lies. The problem with compound lying, is that the liar seems to always forget some important details in the lie. Thus, contradicting themselves on a continual basis.
Sound familiar, Alayne & Tom?

Anonymous said...

XIII. How can the denial of a request for public records be appealed?

Any person denied access to inspect or copy any public record for any reason may appeal the denial by sending a written notice of appeal to the head of the public body.

According to section 2 of the Act, the head of a public body is "the president, mayor, chairman,
presiding officer, director, superintendent, manager, supervisor or individual otherwise holding primary executive and administrative authority for the public body."

Upon receiving that written
notice, the head of the public body, or such person's designee, is required to review the requested public record promptly, and to determine whether, under the provisions of the Act, such records are open to inspection and copying.

The person requesting the records must be notified of that determination within seven working days.

If the head of a public body or his designee denies access to public records, he or she
must explain in his letter of denial that the person requesting the records has a right to judicial review of that decision.

Under section 10 of the Act, when the head of a public body denies
access to public records, the requesting person is "deemed to have exhausted his administrative
remedies." After that, the requesting person may file suit in the circuit court for injunctive or
declaratory relief.

When the denial is from the head of a public body of the State, suit may be filed in the circuit court for the county in which the public body has its principal office or where the requesting party resides.

When the denial is from the head of a municipality or other type of public body, suit must be brought in the circuit court for the county in which the public body is located.

When such a suit is brought in the circuit court, the court will consider the matter "de
novo." In other words, the court will consider the suit as a new matter, not as an appeal from the
decision of the head of the public body.

Suits brought under the Act are to be "assigned for
hearing and trial at the earliest practicable date and expedited in every way."

The Act allows the
court to examine the requested records in private to determine whether they may be withheld.

Consistent with its express policy of promoting the disclosure of records, the Act places the burden upon the public body to establish that refusal to permit public access is in accordance
with the Act. See Baudin v. City of Crystal Lake, 192 Ill. App. 3d 530, 535 (2nd Dist. 1989).

When suit is brought under the Act, the circuit court has jurisdiction to enjoin a public body from withholding public records and to order the production of any records which have been improperly withheld.

The court may also retain jurisdiction and allow the public body additional time to review the records if the body can show that exceptional circumstances exist and that it is exercising due diligence in responding to the request, and may order the public body to provide an index of the records to which access has been denied.

The court can enforce
any order entered under the Act against any public official through the court's contempt powers. The court also can award attorney's fees to the person requesting records if the court finds that the records were of significant interest to the general public and were withheld without
any reasonable basis in law, and that the requesting party substantially prevailed on the merits of the case.

The prevailing requesting party cannot be awarded costs (Duncan Publishing, Inc. v. City of Chicago, 304 Ill. App. 3d 778, 787 (1st Dist. 1999)), and, if appearing pro se (not
represented by an attorney), cannot be awarded attorney's fees no matter whether the party is an attorney (Hamer v. Lentz, 132 Ill. 2d 49, 639 (1989)), or not (Brazas v. Ramsey, 291 Ill. App. 3d
104, 109-110 (2nd Dist. 1997).

A requesting party may be said to have substantially prevailed for purposes of an award of attorney's fees even if the records are turned over before judgment or any other ruling by the court on the merits of a claimed exemption (People ex rel. Ulrich v.
Stukel, 294 Ill. App. 3d 193, 202 (1st Dist. 1997), appeal denied, 178 Ill. 2d 595), but the mere
fact that a suit was filed before the records were turned over does not mean the party substantially prevailed. Duncan Publishing, Inc. v. City of Chicago, 304 Ill. App. 3d 778, 786-787(1st Dist. 1999) (city's production of records after filing of suit could have been due to routine administrative processing and independent of suit). The inquiry in either case is whether the
filing of the suit was reasonably necessary to obtain the information and whether the filing of the
suit substantially caused the production of the records sought.

Anonymous said...

I believe one of the document links is ms-labeled, and seems to signal that another document link has been ommitted.

The third document link entitled:


> City's Response to Motion to Complete Record - Dec 7>>

This document actually indicates that this is:

APPELLANTS' REPLY TO APPELLEE'S RESPONSE TO MOTION TO COMPLETE THE RECORD AS REQUIRED BY 65 ILCS 5/11-13-12 AND THE
RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE AURORA ZONING BOARD OF
APPEALS

The City's Response to the Motion to Complete the Record, is actually coupled together with the preceding document link which s labeled.


> City's Amended Motion to Dismiss - Dec 5>>


While the City's response to the Appelants Motion to Complete the Record, may indeed be a part of their Amended Motion to Dismiss, the document linked and labeled City's Response to Motion to Complete Record -Dec 5th, is clearly not that.

Not trying to be overly technical here, but just offering some clarification of the documents, because the reader could otherwsie be confused by what the link label suggest they are reading, and what they are actully reading, which appears to be the next subsequent document in the process.

Anonymous said...

What are Weingartz and Weisner trying to hide from everyone? They knew about PP coming to Aurora?

Anonymous said...

That's a great picture

Leonard said...

This administration was very confident in its decisions regarding the zoning and permit process for this facility. They then gained further confidence by virtue of the alleged reports issued by outside counsel.

So the question then becomes, if the city is sure and confident in its decisions and believes that it acted in the best interests of the people of this City why is so much effort being expended in trying to keep the process used by this administration from becoming public?

Call it naïve if you want but it seems to me that if this administration acted as stated above one would think that the mayor would want to prove the basis for and the correctness of those decisions and do so in the shortest possible time.

This effort is not good for the mayor and I believe that he is getting very bad advice.

One thing that was stated in last night’s meeting was that the zoning on the subject property has been stated as being B-1, B-2 and B-3. So which is it? Answer, none of the above.

A statement by the appellants indicated that in pleadings filed by the City the City has stated/admitted that the zoning on the subject property is (BB) Business Boulevard.

That statement went further to say that under BB a public hearing is required for a non-profit medical facility to be approved in that zoning classification.

It looks more and more that the process was hijacked in this matter for some yet unknown hidden agenda by people that do not seem to be able to read, interpret and understand their own zoning ordinance or worse yet decided that such reading, understanding and interpretation were irrelevant to the yet unknown hidden agenda alleged by me in this post.

Everyone reading this blog will make their own determination as to whether this the people involved in this matter were and are acting in the best interests of the residents of this City.

Anonymous said...

Leonard said, "Everyone reading this blog will make their own determination as to whether this the people involved in this matter were and are acting in the best interests of the residents of this City."

12/13/07 12:28 PM

You are so insightful & nowhere near naive...I made up my mind the day I found out there would be a clinic there. ..just call me naive!

Anonymous said...

and kifowit was there for what reason? let me guess........

Anonymous said...

Dec. 11, 2007 — City of Aurora officials quietly acknowledged a crucial mistake regarding a zoning ordinance on which they had relied during earlier investigations into the nation's largest Planned Parenthood facility at 3051 E. New York St. in Aurora, Illinois. In two recent motions to dismiss an appeal by Aurora citizens to the Zoning Board of Appeals, Aurora's chief lawyer began referring to ordinance 093-124 rather than to section 093-123, which had expired and which they had been citing previously. In addition, the city cited the wrong ordinance as a basis for favorable zoning determinations in a pair of investigations undertaken by two touted zoning experts, private lawyers acting on behalf of the city, which led to Mayor Tom Weisner announcing the renewal of Planned Parenthood's temporary occupancy permit (now due to expire December 17th). If the proper ordinance had been cited and complied with, Planned Parenthood should never have opened. The zoning determinations, on the basis of which Planned Parenthood has been open and operating, are being challenged by Aurora citizens, represented by lawyers from the Thomas More Society, a public interest law firm based in Chicago. On Wednesday, December 12, the Aurora Zoning Board of Appeals will meet to hear these and other issues.

“City officials are not being candid with Aurora's citizens. They made a major mistake and they are trying to keep it out of the public eye despite compelling evidence of egregious zoning violations,” states Tom Brejcha, Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Society of Chicago. “In fact, they have been stonewalling and barring our access to critical public documents. The citizens of Aurora should be questioning what their civic leaders are trying to cover up.”