Atlanta, Ill (WAND) – A federal grand jury subpoena was issued to the Atlanta Library in Illinois in late 2018. The library tried to hide the contents of the subpoena before publicly releasing it.
WAND was given a copy of the subpoena issued to the library and its president Randy Brooks. However, the copy was heavily redacted.
The Edgar County Watchdogs, based in Paris, was also given a redacted copy and then filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for a copy without redactions. The library balked and declined their request. The Watchdogs sued in Logan County Circuit Court. The library eventually gave the Watchdogs a copy without redactions after the April 2019 municipal elections.
The grand jury subpoena sought documents, records, receipts, contracts and lease agreements from various entities apparently connected to former library board member William Thomas. Those include the Palms Grill Café, Center for Advanced Learning, Teleologic Learning Company, LLC, and the St. Thomas Didymus Corporation. It also sought any and all bills paid by the Atlanta Library Treasurer pursuant to the October 2017 approved board meeting minutes.
The dealings of Thomas and his attempts to sell a building he owned to the library were the subject of a December 2017 I-TEAM report.
The Edgar County Watchdogs, led by John Kraft and Kirk Allen, say they will seek the payment of attorney fees from the library.