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Community Activist Looks Forward To Release of Legal Investigation Report

Sandra Bury thanks Mayor Dave Heilmann for his pledge to not fight release of confidential report on Oak Lawn's former legal team.

It was with great pleasure that I learned of Mayor Heilmann’s remarks to the press which appear to support my Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the release of the Confidential Legal Investigation Report. 

The Village of Oak Lawn has denied my prior requests, even though this information was prepared at taxpayer expense and concerns our elected officials. 

Tressler (Oak Lawn’s prior legal team) was contractually appointed to be responsible for the defense of the agreement should FOIA requests occur. Their communication with the Village on September 29th stated they would not fight my FOIA request. The Village of Oak Lawn is now free to release it or fight it at their own expense. There isn’t a living soul who thinks that more legal bills to be paid by the taxpayers on this issue is a good idea.

At this point I believe it is critical that the residents of Oak Lawn have access to that report so that they can see and understand the truth about a series of events that by some accounts have cost the tax-payers more than $10 million dollars. The ultimate goal of this knowledge is to learn if the present system of checks and balances is broken, and who might be responsible.

I would like to publicly thank the Illinois Attorney General for standing up for those of us who believe in honesty, transparency and good governance.  The Freedom of Information Act gives voters a powerful tool to understand the actions of their elected officials.  I am so appreciative that the Attorney General’s office recognizes that informed citizens are a key element of the democratic process.

I would like to thank Oak Lawn Mayor Dave Heilmann, who said in the press last Friday that he now supports my request for the release of the Confidential Legal Investigation Report. Mayor Heilmann has been fighting the legal investigation from the moment it was first proposed in 2009. In April of this year, the Village of Oak Lawn received a $500,000 settlement as a result of this investigation.  The settlement also clearly states that that a presentation of the findings is to be made in closed session. 

All six trustees voted to approve this, yet Mayor Heilmann has allegedly worked since April to prevent it from being written, allegedly delayed it repeatedly and allegedly worked behind the scenes to prevent what was contractually agreed upon from occurring.

I now call upon Mayor Heilmann to schedule, attend and support the contractually agreed to final report in executive session by Godfrey and Kahn. And I am also asking, in the interest of honesty, transparency and good governance, that the Village Board also release all of the executive session minutes related to the legal investigation and settlement, especially any minutes where the need for the confidentiality clause was discussed.
 
The former Village Attorney is obviously not worried about Confidentiality, so why should the Village be? I look forward to the Village acting quickly to satisfy my FOIA request and the release of the Report so that I can share it with other interested Oak Lawn residents.

Sandra Bury is an optometrist and local business owner. She's active in several local and international organizations including the Oak Lawn Rotary, Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce. the Illinois Optometry Association, the Chicago South Suburban Optometric Society, and Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity.

LLamonica September 03, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Well written Tom Phelan!
Garbage September 03, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Kudos to you Dr. Bury. Your perseverance paid off by consistently asking the questions about why the report is so secret regarding discrepancies and massive legal fees which were paid for with taxpayer monies. His Eminence is agreeing to let it be made public now because of his recently announced candidacy to run for the Presidency again. Another ploy by the actor to indicate what a great guy he is and that he “NOW” supports releasing the report and believes it is the right time after fighting the legal investigation since 2009. Timing is everything.
RG September 03, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Wow. This piece was ok until the 7th paragraph. Too much accusations that are "allegedly". I don't like how this was handled as much as Dr Bury. But if no one is stopping the release now, let's see what happens with the report before starting the attacks again!
District 666 Resident September 03, 2012 at 03:31 PM
"community activist"? Who are we kidding? Ms. Bury is running for Mayor against Heilmann and everyone knows that except the Patch. Bury will fit right in with Falo and AOLE because they all like to toot their own horns. Last thought: Why does Bury still want a closed session discussion when the report will be public?
Big Larry September 03, 2012 at 03:31 PM
This is a real piece alright. Doc, edit this quick. This ain't back to the future: September 29?
Big Larry September 03, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Why the accusations? Have you read the report
Sandra Bury September 03, 2012 at 03:40 PM
My sincere apologies. It should have been August 29th. It was written very late. You are correct!
Sandra Bury September 03, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Because it is part of the agreement. Because it needs to be on record. Because the reasons for the breakdown in the system need to be known, discussed and a plan implemented so that it never happens again. There are things to learn from this expensive lesson and many people at the table are covering their ears, eyes and mouths. Let's get some value from this to the taxpayers who paid for it.
Sandra Bury September 03, 2012 at 03:47 PM
RG, I have heard from several individuals that this is the case. Releasing the minutes will confirm Mayor Heilmann's statements that he never was opposed to the report being released. This is important since the first time he publicly stated he was in favor of the release was when he literally had no other legal or political option to suppress it. With this new tone of transparency, I'm asking for the minutes to be included with the report.
Sandra Bury September 03, 2012 at 03:49 PM
I have not.
London Bridge Master September 03, 2012 at 04:02 PM
"allegedly" is also known as Jane Quinlan the sharp tongued clerk
London Bridge Master September 03, 2012 at 04:14 PM
ms bury, go for transparency demand the release of the executive session tape where the trustees were actually informmed, by the other lawyers, about the sex harrassment case offer. first the trustees denied knowing about the offer. after the listened to the tape in exec. session they refused to release it to us. what gives? can you find out for us?
London Bridge Master September 03, 2012 at 04:17 PM
damned if you do and damned if you don't
OakLawnGuy September 03, 2012 at 05:00 PM
This has the flavor of an opening statement of a campaign announcement.
andy skoundrianos September 03, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Dr. Bury get ready for the Mayor's secret admirers to attack you relentlessly on this story. Some of the quotes will be... It's the clerk's fault.. It's the trustees fault.. it's the managers fault.. Dr. Bury is campaigning.. The mayor is the bestest guy in the world!! Oh wait they already have
Big Larry September 03, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Andy, how is Bob?
Big Larry September 03, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Remember Bob's flip flop on 111th TIF and then your change of heart? What was Bob promised then? What is Dave promising him now?
anthony September 03, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Cute picture also
Jim Vertucci September 04, 2012 at 10:31 AM
You are ridiculous Ms.Bury. After it's released what are you gonna go after? Try and find something to make the Mayor look bad for your campaign. I didn't vote for him last election but I will for sure if you run against him. You're a disgrace. I wouldn't patron your business or vote for you.
Garbage September 04, 2012 at 12:42 PM
4620: I must say with your caustic attitude – you are the ridiculous one. Getting the report has been something many, many people have been trying to get released. But the King and his Board have been trying to hide something. And if you go to a Board meeting or watch it on cable – the King does look bad with his stooges and a takeover of meetings and slapping down Board members who were running mates. The actor is now showing his true colors -- he wants a crown and a scepter. You are the disgrace with your comments and I’m sure Dr. Bury won’t shed a tear when you go to another business. I sure wouldn’t want someone like you patronizing my business.
QC September 04, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Garbage Phelan aka the man that wants to be King "the King does look bad with his stooges and a takeover of meetings and slapping down Board members who were running mates." Are you kidding? LOL. That's ALL You, and Your majority at the time, have done to Heilmann and Carol Quinlan since Your "private meeting in Springfield" in April of '09!! Coincidence eh?
Jim Vertucci September 04, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Hey Garbage, I think your name says it all. Phatman is a disgrace to watch at these meetings. His attitude at the meetings is a disgrace. He thinks he's better than everybody. Honestly, when its released what is she gonna find to try and hang the Mayor? The Village is disgusting between the fights and the shit we're letting move into the area.
Garbage September 04, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I use that name because I read stuff from people like you who use vulgar language and degrading attitude. And there is always time for you to move if you don’t like the people who are now neighbors.
Jim Vertucci September 04, 2012 at 07:22 PM
who's using vulgar language? Everyone on here, including you, degrade people. So don't think your not guilty. The political posturing in public has become a joke. Everybody knows Bury is gonna run for mayor. Hence making a stink out of the release. And garbage, u r OK with the trash and shit moving into the houses around O.L.? There's nothing but Mexican and black gangbangers moving in to the houses that can't sell. I've had Chicago police in my yard staking out houses by me. O.L. has too many sec. 8 housing and foreclosures.
QC?? September 04, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Not everyone on here that doesn't agree with you King is Phelan.. You better watch out Madigan is coming after you!!
Dist. 2 Curious September 05, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Now we know. We hear that tonight, at 7:00 at her business, Sandra Bury will finally come clean as she intends to announce that she is running for mayor. And so it goes...
QC September 06, 2012 at 12:27 AM
QC?? Not everyone on here that doesn't agree with you, Falo, is Heilmann. And, OH BTW, ooooooooooooooooooooooo!

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