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Illinois Attorney General says: Produce the Tapes

The Evanston City Council has been asked by the Illinois Attorney General’s office to make public portions of a closed session City Council meeting members held with Klutznick & Anderson, developers who have propsed a 49 story building at Orrington & Church on March 27, to ensure full compliance with the state’s Open Meetings Act.

In a letter to the city July 18, Terry Mutchler, the office’s public access counselor, said the office believes the city violated the Open Meetings Act "by conducting an incidental discussion with a developer of a related parcel and the impact of that development on Fountain Square."

Robert Atkins, an Evanston resident, filed a complaint with the attorney general after council members and staff met privately with developers James Klutznick and Tim Anderson over their plans to erect a 49-story building at Orrington Avenue and Church Street.

Of great significance is the fact the City Council voted to exempt the fountain square parcel from the downtown moritorium after meeting with the developer privately. 

The Open Meetings Act is very explicit on what steps a public body has to take in holding discussion in closed meetings.

Atkins filed a Freedom of Information request with the city Tuesday, asking officials to turn over the audio tapes and other meeting materials.

Meanwhile, the City’s Corporation Cousel Herb Hill, has said that talk of releasing tapes is premature.

Bob Atkins (bless his soul) has said: "Citizens and taxpayers of the community are entitled to a full and complete discussion of what took place behind closed doors".

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