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IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS

COUNTY DEPARTMENT, CHANCERY DIVISION

THE COALITION TO SAVE JACKSON )
PARK, )
)
Plaintiff, )
)
v. )
)
CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT, )
)
Defendant, and )
)
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR OF CHICAGO, )
)
Respondent in Discovery. )

COMPLAINT

Plaintiff Coalition To Save Jackson Park, by and through its attorneys, Daniel Massoglia,

Esq., and Canon Law Group, P.C., brings this Freedom of Information Act suit seeking release

of public records that Defendant Chicago Park District is withholding in willful and intentional

violation of the Act. These records pertain to the Obama Presidential Center proposed for

construction in Chicago’s Jackson Park. Coalition To Save Jackson Park alleges the following in

support:

NATURE OF THE ACTION

1. This is a complaint under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 ILCS

140/1 et seq. against Chicago Park District (“CPaD”).

2. Coalition To Save Jackson Park (“CTSJP”) seeks records related to specific aspects of

the planning, development, and impact of the Obama Presidential Center (“OPC”) proposed for

construction in Jackson Park.

3. The proposed OPC in Jackson Park is an ongoing source of considerable public

discussion and debate among parties concerned about the lack of budgetary planning, impact of
proposed road closures, lack of a Community Benefits Agreement, lack of potential for

economic development as the site is currently designed, and impact on the environment and

character of historic Jackson Park.

4. CTSJP, by and through Counsel, made a FOIA request on November 3, 2017, but,

almost two months after missing its statutory production deadline—and after ignoring repeated

telephone and email follow up related to this request—CPaD produced a limited, incomplete,

and inadequate set of records on January 11, 2017 that did not include electronic

communications.

5. CPaD is in violation of FOIA because, by excluding emails from its production, it has

not responded in full to CTSJP’s request.

6. CPaD has not asserted any reason for its failure to timely respond or its failure to

return phone calls and email messages, and its eventual production did not explain its decision to

exclude electronic communications although the request sought them.

PARTIES

7. Plaintiff Coalition To Save Jackson Park is a community group based on the South

Side of Chicago, is the requester of the documents at issue in this lawsuit, and is led by Janet

Geovanis, a Chicago resident.

8. Defendant Chicago Park District is a public body as defined by 5 ILCS 140/2(a) and

is located in Cook County.

9. Respondent in Discovery Office of the Mayor of Chicago is a public body as defined

by 5 ILCS 140/2(a) and is located in Cook County. Office of the Mayor of Chicago is named as a

respondent in discovery to this suit under the authority and rules of 735 ILCS 5/2-402.

BACKGROUND

Illinois FOIA

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10. Illinois FOIA, in its first sentence, states that “all persons are entitled to full and

complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts and policies of

those who represent them as public officials.” 5 ILCS 140/1.

11. The timely and diligent handling of requests from the public is, in the eyes of the

Illinois Legislature, essential to the “fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional

form of government.” Id.

12. “All records in the custody or possession of a public body are presumed to be open to

inspection or copying,” and “[a]ny public body that asserts that a record is exempt from

disclosure has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that it is exempt.” 5 ILCS

140/1.2.

13. The Act defines “public records” as “[a]ll records, reports, forms, writings, letters,

memoranda, books, papers, maps, photographs, microfilms, cards, tapes, recordings, electronic

data processing records, electronic communications, recorded information and all other

documentary materials pertaining to the transaction of public business, regardless of physical

form or characteristics, having been prepared by or for, or having been or being used by,

received by, in the possession of, or under the control of any public body.” 5 ILCS 140/2(c)

(emphasis added).

14. “Restraints on access to information, to the extent permitted by this Act, are limited

exceptions to the principle that the people of this State have a right to full disclosure of

information relating to the decisions, policies, procedures, rules, standards, and other aspects of

government activity that affect the conduct of government and the lives of any or all of the

people.” 5 ILCS 140/1.

15. Providing records in accordance with FOIA’s language is “a primary duty of public

bodies... fiscal obligations notwithstanding.” FOIA is “the exclusive State statute on freedom of

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information.” 5 ILCS 140/1.

16. When a court “determines that a public body willfully and intentionally failed to

comply with FOIA, or otherwise acted in bad faith, the court shall impose upon the public body a

civil penalty of not less than $2,500 nor more than $5,000 for each occurrence.” 5 ILCS

140/11(j).

17. In the course of its violation of FOIA, CPaD has willfully and intentionally violated

the law by its serially uncommunicative pattern of conduct related to CTSJP’s request for

information about the OPC and Jackson Park, conduct that culminated in a partial production of

incomplete and inadequate records.

18. Whether CPaD’s failing to meet a statutory deadline, ignoring repeated

communications from the requester, and eventually offering an overwhelmingly incomplete

response were the products of the actions of individual employees, inter-agency coordination, or

a result of budgetary priority, CPaD’s violation of the Act is willful and intentional. The public

body is neglecting its obligations to the public.

CTSJP’s Request and CPaD’s (Non)-Responses

19. On November 3, 2017, CTSJP, via email, filed a FOIA request seeking:

…any and all records related to the following:

1. the decision to offer public parkland for use in the construction of the Obama
Presidential Center, in the time periods of a) January 2014 and b) from January 1,
2015 to the present;

2. the ongoing plan to close portions of Marquette and Cornell Drives, from June 1,
2016 to the present;

3. the publicly discussed plan to build an OPC parking garage on additional parkland
near or on the Midway Plaisance, from April 1, 2016 to the present;

4. proposed changes to Lake Shore Drive and Stony Island Avenue as a result of
development associated with the Obama Presidential Center, from January 1,
2015 to the present;

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5. potential flooding and run-off, avian-migration and nesting issues, and impact on
local microclimate and temperatures in Jackson Park related to the Obama
Presidential Center and its construction, from January 1, 2016 to the present.

See Exhibit 1 at 3.

20. CTSJP’s request noted regarding email records:

Your search, inasmuch it relates to email communications, should include the
inbox, sent, deleted, and other folders in any relevant email accounts. It should
also include records stored in private email accounts and text messaging devices
to the extent that those accounts and devices are used for the transaction of public
business.

Id.

21. On November 3, 2016, CPaD responded by email acknowledging the request, writing

in a separate, automated message “Thank you for your FOIA request.”

22. On November 13, 2017, CPaD gave notice via email of a five business day extension

in processing the request, writing as justification:

1. the requested records require examination and evaluation by personnel having the
necessary competence and discretion to determine if they are exempt from
disclosure under Section 7 of this Act or should be revealed only with appropriate
deletions; and

2. there is need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed,
with another public body or among two or more components of a public body
having a substantial interest in the determination or in the subject matter of the
request.

See Exhibit 2 at 3.

23. On November 21, 2017, CPaD employee Ivy Blanton left a telephone message for

CTSJP’s attorney, Daniel Massoglia, asking CTSJP to call her regarding the request at (312)

742-4789.

24. Later on November 21, 2017, CTSJP called Ms. Blanton back, leaving a voice

message. Ms. Blanton called CTSJP back shortly thereafter and the two spoke regarding the

request.

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25. During the conversation, CTSJP inquired if CPaD was seeking an extension of time to

process the request. Ms. Blanton stated that the requested records were “ready” and that all that

remained was a “letter from the Commissioner [Michael Kelly],” at which point CPaD would be

able to produce “everything.”

26. During this conversation, Ms. Blanton stated that documents would be ready the next

day, November 22, 2017.

27. During this conversation CTSJP asked Ms. Blanton to produce prepared records that

day, November 21, 2017.

28. At no point in this conversation did Ms. Blanton tell CTSJP that responsive records

were exempt or that the request was unduly burdensome or otherwise could not be fulfilled by

CPaD.

29. The parties did not agree to any further extension in response time, either orally or in

writing as required by 5 ILCS 140/3(e).

30. That day, and the day following this conversation, CPaD produced no records.

31. At no point during this time period did CPaD ask CTSJP to narrow its request.

32. CTSJP made multiple attempts to communicate with Ms. Blanton and CPaD after the

November 21, 2017 conversation and subsequent non-production.

33. On December 1, 2017, CTSJP called back CPaD via Ms. Blanton at (312) 742-4789,

leaving a voice message seeking to discuss the request and non-production.

34. CPaD did not respond to CTSJP’s December 1, 2017 phone call and message.

35. On December 4, 2017, CTSJP emailed the contact information listed on CPaD’s

extension letter, foia@chicagoparkdistrict.com, seeking information about the request. See

Exhibit 2 at 3-4.

36. CPaD responded to CTSJP’s December 4, 2017 email with a separate automated

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message thanking CTSJP for its FOIA request.

37. On December 7, 2017, CTSJP called back for a second time, again leaving a message

regarding the request.

38. CPaD did not respond to CTSJP’s December 7, 2017 phone call and message.

39. On December 19, 2017, CTSJP again emailed CPaD at foia@chicagoparkdistrict.com

seeking information about the request. See Exhibit 2 at 4.

40. CPaD responded to CTSJP’s December 19, 2017 email with a separate automated

message thanking CTSJP for its FOIA request.

41. On December 21, 2017, CTSJP made a third phone call to CPaD, leaving a message

seeking information about the request.

42. CPaD did not respond to CTSJP’s December 21, 2017 phone call and message.

43. On January 4, 2017, CTSJP sent a letter via email to foia@chicagoparkdistrict.com.

See Exhibit 2 at 4; Exhibit 3.

44. In this letter, CTSJP demanded CPaD produce overdue records by January 11, 2017

or it would file suit. See Exhibit 3.

45. On January 11, 2017, CPaD used the file-sharing service Dropbox to provide CTSJP

with seven responsive documents and a FOIA response letter containing three links to public

web sites.

46. The response letter denied that CPaD possessed any public records responsive to, for

example, CTSJP’s request for records regarding “the decision to offer public parkland for use in

the construction of the Obama Presidential Center.” See Exhibit 4 at 1. (The documents produced

did include a CPaD Board resolution related to this topic.)

47. CPaD’s production included no emails or electronic communications.

48. One or more of the subject areas covered by the CTSJP FOIA request was discussed

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by CPaD employees or officers over email during the relevant time frame in the request.

49. “Public records” under the FOIA are defined to include “electronic

communications.” 5 ILCS 140/2(c).

50. CTSJP’s request sought “all records” related to its subject areas, as described in

Paragraph 19 of this Complaint, offering specific instructions for email searches, as described in

Paragraph 20 of this Complaint. See Exhibit 1.

51. CPaD’s January 11, 2017 long-overdue, email-free, seven-document production is

thus an incomplete production of public records responsive to CTSJP’s request.

52. After reviewing the incomplete production, on January 11, 2017 CTSJP indicated in

an email to Ms. Blanton its continued intention to file this lawsuit due to the inadequacy of

CPaD’s production. See Exhibit 5.

53. On January 12, 2017, Ms. Blanton emailed CTSJP from

foia@chicagoparkdistrict.com, asking CTSJP to call her at its convenience. Id.

54. That day, Ms. Blanton and CTSJP spoke regarding the request, at which time Ms.

Blanton stated that her IT Department had at an indeterminate point described a need for CTSJP

to narrow its request as to emails, but that she had failed to mention this to CTSJP. CTSJP

indicated that given months of CPaD’s non-responsiveness further informal negotiations on the

matter were not likely to be fruitful and that it would proceed as planned with this suit.

Respondent in Discovery Office of the Mayor-led Coordination Among Public Bodies

55. As part of its public advocacy, CTSJP has sent FOIA requests related to the OPC and

Jackson Park to several public bodies in Chicago and Cook County, including to the Department

of Streets and Sanitation (“DSS”) and the Department of Innovation and Technology (“DoIT”).

56. The DSS request, sent November 3, 2017, eventually led to a records production that

contained a November 7, 2017 email message from Mayoral FOIA Officer Shannon Leonard to

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several public bodies including CPaD. See Exhibit 6.

57. In this message, Ms. Leonard wrote:

All of us received some form of a FOIA request related to the Obama Library from
this firm [Massoglia’s]. Please share any responses you plan to send BEFORE they
go out with me so we can make sure all responses are coordinated. I understand some
of you will not have responsive records. Additionally, this request is very broad
(especially the one you received CDOT, it is the same as ours.)

Id. (Emphasis original.)

58. Given the contents of this message, it is likely that any CPaD decision to produce

documents, or not, and which documents—and thus comply with FOIA, or not—was made with

the knowledge, approval, and at the direction of Respondent in Discovery Office of the Mayor of

Chicago.

59. Another CTSJP request in which Respondent in Discovery Office of the Mayor of

Chicago played an active role in was one sent to DoIT on November 3, 2017 and narrowed

December 8, 2017.

60. A DoIT FOIA Officer emailed CTSJP about this narrowed request on January 8,

2017—a request which concerns the proposed Jackson Park PGA Golf Course and Community

Benefits Agreements related to the OPC—writing that Shannon Leonard, the Mayoral FOIA

Officer, had “some concerns” about documents located while processing CTSJP’s request. See

Exhibit 7.

61. On a phone call regarding these concerns the next day, January 9, 2017, Mayoral

FOIA Officer Leonard stated to CTSJP that the Mayor’s office was handling FOIA exemption

review on the request for Alderman Hairston’s office (and by inference for DoIT as well).

62. This second known instance of Mayoral coordination with another public body makes

it still more likely that Respondent in Discovery Office of the Mayor of Chicago played an active

role in the FOIA violation regarding the CPaD request at issue in this suit.

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63. Further, CPaD’s extension letter, described in Paragraph 22 of this Complaint,

specifically cited a “need for consultation… with another public body or among two or more

components of a public body having a substantial interest in the determination or in the subject

matter of the request.” See Exhibit 2 at 3.

64. Although the public body or components of a public body with which CPaD cited a

“need for consultation” in its extension letter is unnamed, it is likely, given the email from

Mayoral FOIA Officer Leonard described in Paragraph 57 of this Complaint, and the additional

Mayoral coordination described in Paragraphs 60-62 of this Complaint, that this unnamed public

body is Respondent in Discovery Office of the Mayor of Chicago.

65. CPaD did not respond to CTSJP’s request within the five business days allowed by 5

ILCS 140/3(e)-(f) and its extension letter, and did not respond to multiple phone calls and emails

related to the request.

66. Respondent in Discovery Office of the Mayor of Chicago was involved in CPaD’s

decision-making process with regard to CTSJP’s request.

COUNT I – VIOLATION OF SECTION 3 OF FOIA

67. CTSJP incorporates Paragraphs 1-66 of this Complaint by reference.

68. Chicago Park District is a public body.

69. CPaD has withheld public records responsive to CTSJP’s FOIA request.

70. Public records” under the FOIA are defined to include “electronic communications.”

5 ILCS 140/2(c).

71. At minimum, CPaD has withheld public records responsive to CTSJP’s FOIA request

by failing to produce electronic communications responsive to the request.

72. These records, and all responsive, unproduced records, are subject to disclosure under

FOIA and are currently being withheld in violation of section 3 of FOIA. 5 ILCS 140/2, 3.

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73. Because it failed to respond to CTSJP’s request within the five business day statutory

time frame of its permissive extension, waiting almost two months to make a partial production,

CPaD may not in the future assert that producing responsive records is unduly burdensome to its

operations. 5 ILCS 140/3(d)-(g).

74. The Court has jurisdiction to “enjoin [CPaD] from withholding public records and to

order the production of any public records improperly withheld from the person seeking access

[CTSJP].” 5 ILCS 140/11(d).

75. CTSJP is entitled to recover costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees under 5 ILCS

140/11(i).

COUNT II – WILLFUL VIOLATION OF FOIA

76. CTSJP incorporates Paragraphs 1-66 of this Complaint by reference.

77. CPaD did not respond to CTSJP’s request within the time frames of section 3 of

FOIA, and did not respond to CTSJP’s five attempts at informal discussion made by email and

telephone.

78. While in violation of FOIA and after ignoring CTSJP’s attempts to communicate for

more than a month, CPD ultimately produced substantially incomplete records to CTSJP.

79. CPaD has, either alone or in concert with another agency, willfully and intentionally

violated FOIA, and in bad faith, under 5 ILCS 140/11(j).

80. CTSJP is entitled to recover costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees under 5 ILCS

140/11(i).

WHEREFORE, CTSJP asks that the Court enter a judgment in its favor that:

1) orders CPaD to promptly produce all responsive requested records;

2) awards reasonable attorney's fees and costs;

3) awards statutory damages of between $2,500 and $5,000 for each willful and

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intentional violation of FOIA; and

4) awards CTSJP any other relief the Court should deem just.

Respectfully Submitted,

__/s/ Daniel E. Massoglia ___________________
One of Plaintiff’s Attorneys

Daniel E. Massoglia, Esq.
Daniel E. Massoglia
2865 W. Lyndale St
#1
Chicago, IL 60647
dmassoglia@gmail.com
(336) 575-6968
Cook County ID No. 60523

Canon Law Group, P.C.
Ramsin Canon
405 W Superior Street
Suite 512
Chicago, IL 60654
ramsin@canonlawgroup.com
(312) 213-9600
Cook County ID No. 59741

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Exhibit 1
DANIEL MASSOGLIA
ATTORNEY AT LAW
P: (336) 575-6968 2865 W. LYNDALE ST. # 1
E: DMASSOGLIA@GMAIL.COM CHICAGO, IL 60647

November 3, 2017
Freedom of Information Officer
Chicago Park District
541 N. Fairbanks Court
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Re: Obama Presidential Center Freedom of Information Act Request

To whom it may concern:

Good afternoon. This letter is a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request under 5
ILCS 140/1 et seq. Requester is the Coalition To Save Jackson Park (“CTSJP”), a community
group based on the South side. I am an attorney sending requests on their behalf; follow-up,
questions, and records regarding these requests should kindly be sent to my email,
dmassoglia@gmail.com.

CTSJP is seeking information about the effects of an Obama Presidential Center, proposed
PGA Tour golf course in Jackson Park, and other associated developments on the environment,
character, and safety of Jackson Park, nearby communities, and city of Chicago. CTSJP sends this
request for non-commercial purposes to improve public transparency surrounding the Obama
Presidential Center and associated development. This letter outlines public interest on the issues
and the records requested.

I. Background, Public Interest, and Fee Waiver

In light of the myriad public impacts of the Obama Presidential Center and associated
development, CTSJP seeks a fee waiver for any documents produced in response to its request,
which is non-commercial in nature and designed to access public records and share obtained
information regarding the health, safety, welfare, and legal rights of the general public.

An Obama Presidential Center, sometimes called “OPC,” the Obama Center, or the Obama
Library, has faced Chicago for years, raising hopes but also controversy and concern. The saga of
the Library’s presence or absence—now linked to expansive additional developments such as
transforming Jackson Park’s public links into an exclusive and expensive PGA Tour golf course—
has repeatedly featured in local and national media during this time. (See, e.g., “Obama
Presidential Center,” Curbed Chicago, May 2013 - Oct. 2017, https://chicago.curbed.com/obama-
library; Jennifer Epstein, “Chicago could lose out on presidential library,” Politico, Dec. 30, 2014
https://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/obama-presidential-library-chicago-new-york-113892;
Marcella Raymond, “Chicago City Council passes Obama library ordinance,” WGN Chicago, Mar.
18, 2015 http://wgntv.com/2015/03/18/chicago-city-council-passes-obama-library-ordinance/;
Lynn Sweet, “Sweet: Rahm emails reveal secret golf course planning,” The Chicago Sun-Times,
Dec. 25, 2016 https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/sweet-rahm-emails-reveal-secret-golf-course-
planning/; Eve Ewing, “Obama says he believes in community organizing. He should listen to

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DANIEL MASSOGLIA, 2865 W. LYNDALE ST., # 1, CHICAGO, IL 60647
DMASSOGLIA@GMAIL.COM | (336) 575-6968
DANIEL MASSOGLIA
ATTORNEY AT LAW
P: (336) 575-6968 2865 W. LYNDALE ST. # 1
E: DMASSOGLIA@GMAIL.COM CHICAGO, IL 60647

Chicago’s South Side.,” The Washington Post, Jan. 19, 2017
https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/19/one-way-for-obama-to-secure-
his-legacy-make-sure-his-library-helps-the-south-side/; Sam Cholke, “Obama Foundation Revises
Plan, Will Build Presidential Center Garage Itself,” DNA Info Chicago, Aug. 21, 2017
https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20170821/hyde-park/obama-library-says-well-just-build-
huge-underground-garage-ourselves.)

Chicagoans have raised concerns over the manner and scope of the project’s ambition. To
name only a few: the use of public parkland at private whim, the widely reported unwillingness of
the Obama Foundation (“OF”) to work with local communities on Community Benefits
Agreements (“CBAs”), and the lack of transparency that has marked the project’s whirlwind
progression. While the Obama Library enterprise has grown in recent months and years, its
development has come with only minimal engagement with the public of Chicago, where the
former President taught and began his political career.

The status quo, then, is that basic information about the project’s environmental footprint,
long term cost, impact on local communities, and evolving and expanding scale is unavailable.
The proposed add-ons to the Obama Library have also been presented to the public and city at
breakneck pace with little opportunity for independent analysis of their costs, merits, and long-
term ramifications to Chicago’s people, parkland, and finances.

Concern about the OPC’s & related development’s effects on traffic, residents, safety,
parkland, budgets, transparency, and other areas now features regularly in Chicago media outlets,
with various groups raising questions about the project. (See, e.g., Carol Marin and Don Moseley,
“Battle at Jackson Park,” NBC Chicago, Oct. 4, 2017
http://www.nbcchicago.com/investigations/Battle-at-Jackson-Park-449519733.html; Rachel
Hinton, “Community groups draft statements of opposition to Obama Center,” The Chicago Sun-
Times, Oct. 20, 2017 https://chicago.suntimes.com/chicago-politics/community-groups-draft-
statements-of-opposition-to-obama-center/; Deanna Isaacs, “The Obama Foundation’s surprising
challenge: Community organizers,” The Chicago Reader, Oct. 24, 2017
https://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/barack-obama-presidential-center-foundation-jackson-
park/Content?oid=33074998; Tonia Hill, “CBA Coalition confronts Ald. Hairston at 5th Ward
meeting,” The Hyde Park Herald, Oct. 25, 2017 http://hpherald.com/2017/10/25/cba-coalition-
confronts-ald-hairston-5th-ward-meeting/.)

There are few topics in Illinois about which public interest is greater, and a fee waiver is
appropriate.

II. Records Requested

Please send records responsive to my client’s request to my email address,
dmassoglia@gmail.com.

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DANIEL MASSOGLIA, 2865 W. LYNDALE ST., # 1, CHICAGO, IL 60647
DMASSOGLIA@GMAIL.COM | (336) 575-6968
DANIEL MASSOGLIA
ATTORNEY AT LAW
P: (336) 575-6968 2865 W. LYNDALE ST. # 1
E: DMASSOGLIA@GMAIL.COM CHICAGO, IL 60647

Please produce any and all records related to the following:

1. the decision to offer public parkland for use in the construction of the Obama Presidential
Center, in the time periods of a) January 2014 and b) from January 1, 2015 to the present;

2. the ongoing plan to close portions of Marquette and Cornell Drives, from June 1, 2016 to
the present;

3. the publicly discussed plan to build an OPC parking garage on additional parkland near
or on the Midway Plaisance, from April 1, 2016 to the present;

4. proposed changes to Lake Shore Drive and Stony Island Avenue as a result of
development associated with the Obama Presidential Center, from January 1, 2015 to the
present;

5. potential flooding and run-off, avian-migration and nesting issues, and impact on local
microclimate and temperatures in Jackson Park related to the Obama Presidential Center
and its construction, from January 1, 2016 to the present.

Your search, inasmuch it relates to email communications, should include the inbox, sent,
deleted, and other folders in any relevant email accounts. It should also include records stored in
private email accounts and text messaging devices to the extent that those accounts and devices
are used for the transaction of public business.

Please inform me prior to processing the request should fees, if any, be expected to
exceed $100. With questions, please contact me at dmassoglia@gmail.com or 336 575 6968.

Best,

Daniel Massoglia, Esq.
On behalf of the Coalition To Save Jackson Park (CTSJP)

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DANIEL MASSOGLIA, 2865 W. LYNDALE ST., # 1, CHICAGO, IL 60647
DMASSOGLIA@GMAIL.COM | (336) 575-6968
Exhibit 2
Gmail - FOIA Extension https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=43808bb63e&jsver=1...

Daniel Edward Massoglia <dmassoglia@gmail.com>

FOIA Extension
4 messages

FOIA <FOIA@chicagoparkdistrict.com> Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 8:13 PM
To: "DMASSOGLIA@GMAIL.COM" <DMASSOGLIA@gmail.com>

Direct: 312.742.4789

Email: foia@chicagoparkdistrict.com

November 13, 2017

DANIEL MASSOGLIA,

2865 W. LYNDALE ST., # 1,

CHICAGO, IL 60647

DMASSOGLIA@GMAIL.COM

(336) 575-6968

Via Email

Dear Mr. Massoglia:

The Chicago Park District is in receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the
following document(s):

1. The decision to offer public parkland for use in the construction of the Obama
Presidential

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Gmail - FOIA Extension https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=43808bb63e&jsver=1...

Center, in the time periods of a) January 2014 and b) from January 1, 2015 to the
present;

2. The ongoing plan to close portions of Marquette and Cornell Drives,
from June 1, 2016 to the present;

3. the publicly discussed plan to build an OPC parking garage on additional parkland
near or on the Midway Plaisance, from April 1, 2016 to the present

4. proposed changes to Lake Shore Drive and Stony Island Avenue as a result

of development associated with the Obama Presidential Center, from

January 1, 2015 to the present

4. potential flooding and run-off, avian-migration and nesting issues, and

impact on local microclimate and temperatures in Jackson Park related to the Obama
Presidential Center

and its construction, from January 1, 2016 to the present.

The Chicago Park District responds with a notice that five additional business days are required
to complete its search for and evaluation of the documents listed above.

Specifically, the extension is taken for one or more of the following reasons:

( ) the requested records are stored in whole or in part at other locations than the office having
charge of the requested records;

( ) the request requires the collection of a substantial number of specified records;

( ) the request is couched in categorical terms and requires an extensive search for the records
responsive to it;

( ) the requested records have not been located in the course of routine search and additional
efforts are being made to locate them;

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Gmail - FOIA Extension https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=43808bb63e&jsver=1...

(X ) the requested records require examination and evaluation by personnel having the
necessary competence and discretion to determine if they are exempt from disclosure under
Section 7 of this Act or should be revealed only with appropriate deletions;

( ) the request for records cannot be complied with by the public body within the time limits
prescribed by 5 ILCS 140/3 (c) without unduly burdening or interfering with the operations of the
public body;

(X ) there is need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with
another public body or among two or more components of a public body having a substantial
interest in the determination or in the subject matter of the request.

For the record, the above-listed reasons for an extension of time to respond can be found in 5
ILCS 140/3(d) of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. If you have any questions feel free to
contact me.

Sincerely,

Ivy Blanton

Executive Assistant to the Director

Chicago Park District

Daniel Massoglia <dmassoglia@gmail.com> Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 2:18 PM
To: FOIA <FOIA@chicagoparkdistrict.com>

Dear Ivy,

Will you please update on the status of this? I tried your office line last week and couldnt get a hold of anyone.

3 of 4 1/10/18, 8:04 PM
Gmail - FOIA Extension https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=43808bb63e&jsver=1...

Thank you,

Daniel Massoglia
Attorney for requester The Coalition to Save Jackson Park
[Quoted text hidden]

Daniel Massoglia <dmassoglia@gmail.com> Tue, Dec 19, 2017 at 1:34 PM
To: FOIA <FOIA@chicagoparkdistrict.com>

Dear FOIA staff,

Any update on this request?

Daniel Massoglia
Attorney for requester The Coalition to Save Jackson Park
[Quoted text hidden]
--
Daniel Massoglia
Attorney at Law

Daniel Massoglia <dmassoglia@gmail.com> Thu, Jan 4, 2018 at 1:55 PM
To: FOIA <FOIA@chicagoparkdistrict.com>

Good afternoon,

Please see attached letter.

Thank you,
Daniel Massoglia
Counsel for Requester the Coalition To Save Jackson Park
[Quoted text hidden]
--
Daniel Massoglia
Attorney at Law

CPaD_Demand.pdf
299K

4 of 4 1/10/18, 8:04 PM
Exhibit 3
DANIEL MASSOGLIA
ATTORNEY AT LAW
P: (336) 575-6968 2865 W. LYNDALE ST. # 1
E: DMASSOGLIA@GMAIL.COM CHICAGO, IL 60647

January 4, 2018

Freedom of Information Officer
Attn: Ivy Blanton
Chicago Park District
541 N. Fairbanks Court
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Re: Obama Presidential Center Freedom of Information Act Request

Dear Park District FOIA Office,

Good afternoon. I represent the Coalition To Save Jackson Park (“CTSJP”). This letter is
a demand for production of overdue records responsive to my client’s November 3,
2017 Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) Request to the Chicago Park District
(“CPaD”). 5 ILCS 140/1 et seq; CTSJP Request, attached as Exhibit A. CPaD has not
responded to this Request within the required time period, in violation of FOIA, and
has ignored repeated informal attempts to resolve this issue. 5 ILCS 140/3(d).

After receiving my client’s Request on November 3, 2017, CPaD extended its time to
respond by five additional business days on November 13, 2017 under sections (e) and
(f) of FOIA, citing a need to examine responsive records for statutory exemptions and to
coordinate with other agencies’ possessing a substantial interest in the determination of
the request. CPaD Email, attached as Exhibit B. CPaD did not provide records within
the timeframe of this permissive extension and the parties did not agree to further
extension, leaving the agency in violation of the law. 5 ILCS 140/3.

Although CPaD employee Ivy Blanton telephoned me on November 21, 2017 and
promised prompt production of records, CPaD did not then produce responsive
records. The agency has ignored multiple telephone calls, messages, and emails seeking
information about the Request during the months since.

If records are not produced by January 11, 2018 my client will file suit to obtain them.
Please feel free to reach me at dmassoglia@gmail.com or 336-575-6968 with questions or
concerns.

Best,
Daniel Massoglia
Counsel for Requester the Coalition To Save Jackson Park

DANIEL MASSOGLIA, 2865 W. LYNDALE ST., # 1, CHICAGO, IL 60647
DMASSOGLIA@GMAIL.COM | P: (336) 575-6968 | F: (312) 256-2010
Exhibit 4
Direct: 312.742.4789
Email: foia@chicagoparkdistrict.com

January 11, 2018

Daniel Massoglia
Attorney at Law
2865 W. Lyndale St. #1
Chicago, IL 60647
dmassoglia@gmail.com
336.575.6968

Via Email

Dear Mr. Massoglia:

This letter is in reply to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking
the following:

1. the decision to offer public parkland for use in the construction of the
Obama Presidential Center, in the time periods of a) January 2014 and b)
from January 1, 2015 to the present;

RESPONSE: The Chicago Park District responds that we have no documents
responsive per your request. Additionally, according to the rules of FOIA a public
body is under no duty to create records it does not possess.

2. The ongoing plan to close portions of Marquette and Cornell Drives, from
June 1, 2016 to the present;

RESPONSE: Documents are available at https://southlakefrontplan.com/cdot-
community-meetings-transportation-mobility-823-824 and
https://southlakefrontplan.com/document/community-meeting-presentation-june-
21-24-2017

3. Publicly discussed plan to build an OPC parking garage on additional
parkland near or on the Midway Plaisance, from April 1, 2016 to the
present;
RESPONSE: The plan is available through: https://www.obama.org/wp-
content/uploads/conceptual-site-plan.pdf. Please find attached meeting summary
from a 9/12 MPAC meeting and a MPAC resolution.

4. Proposed changes to Lake Shore Drive and Stony Island Avenue as a result
of development associated with the Obama Presidential Center, from
January 1, 2015 to the present;

RESPONSE: Documents are available at https://southlakefrontplan.com/cdot-
community-meetings-transportation-mobility-823-824 and
https://southlakefrontplan.com/document/community-meeting-presentation-june-
21-24-2017

5. Potential flooding and run-off, avian-migration and nesting issues, and
impact on local microclimate and temperatures in Jackson Park related to
the Obama Presidential Center and its construction, from January 1, 2016
to the present.

RESPONSE: The Chicago Park District responds that we have no documents
responsive per your request. Additionally, according to the rules of FOIA a public
body is under no duty to create records it does not possess.

Sincerely,

Ivy Blanton
Executive Assistant to the Director
Chicago Park District
Exhibit 5
Gmail - Obama Presidential Center https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=43808bb63e&jsver=pk...

Daniel Edward Massoglia <dmassoglia@gmail.com>

Obama Presidential Center
2 messages

Daniel Massoglia <dmassoglia@gmail.com> Thu, Jan 11, 2018 at 8:24 PM
To: FOIA <foia@chicagoparkdistrict.com>

Dear Ivy,

I received your production of documents via Dropbox. Although CTSJP's request sought "all records," and
although Illinois FOIA defines public records as including "electronic communications," CPaD has not included
any emails in its production.

CTSJP's request included specific instruction for the search of email, specifying what email folders were to be
included and reminding that private email accounts where used for public business were covered by the request
as well. CPaD states, however and for example, that it possesses no records responsive to the decision to offer
public parkland for private use, component 1 of the request. It is simply impossible to believe that that no CPaD
electronic communications exist on such a high profile topic.

As a result, the CPaD production is deficient and the CPaD search inadequate. Under section 3(d) of FOIA, CPaD
is forbidden from asserting "undue burden" as to this request because of its its failure to meet statutory deadlines
in recent months.

This email is notice that my client will file suit tomorrow.

Best,
Daniel Massoglia

--
Daniel Massoglia
Attorney at Law

FOIA <FOIA@chicagoparkdistrict.com> Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 10:05 AM
To: Daniel Massoglia <dmassoglia@gmail.com>, FOIA <FOIA@chicagoparkdistrict.com>

Good morning Daniel,

At your earliest convenience, please return my call at 312.742.4789.

Ivy B.

From: Daniel Massoglia [mailto:dmassoglia@gmail.com]

1 of 2 1/14/18, 6:03 PM
Gmail - Obama Presidential Center https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=43808bb63e&jsver=pk...

Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2018 8:25 PM
To: FOIA <FOIA@ChicagoParkDistrict.com>
Subject: Obama Presidential Center

[Quoted text hidden]

2 of 2 1/14/18, 6:03 PM
Exhibit 6
From: LEONARD, SHANNON [SHANNON.LEONARD@cityofchicago.org]
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 11:34 AM
To: FOIA; DPDFOIA; DSSFOIA; cdotfoia; CDPHFOIA; DOITFOIA
Subject: Massoglia FOIA

Hello:

All of us received some form of a FOIA request related to the Obama Library from this firm. Please share any
responses you plan to send BEFORE they go out with me so we can make sure all responses are coordinated. I
understand some of you will not have responsive records. Additionally, this request is very broad (especially the one
you received CDOT, it is the same as ours.)

Thanks, all.

Shannon I. Leonard
FOIA Officer
Office: 312-744-3844
Shannon.Leonard@cityofchicago.org

_____________________________________________________________
This e-mail, and any attachments thereto, is intended only for use by the addressee(s) named herein and may contain legally privileged and/or
confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail (or the person responsible for delivering this document to the intended
recipient), you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, printing or copying of this e-mail, and any attachment thereto, is strictly prohibited.
If you have received this e-mail in error, please respond to the individual sending the message, and permanently delete the original and any copy of any
e-mail and printout thereof.

This e-mail, and any attachments thereto, is intended only for use by the addressee(s) named herein and may contain
legally privileged and/or confidential information. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail (or the person
responsible for delivering this document to the intended recipient), you are hereby notified that any dissemination,
distribution, printing or copying of this e-mail, and any attachment thereto, is strictly prohibited. If you have received this e-
mail in error, please respond to the individual sending the message, and permanently delete the original and any copy of
any e-mail and printout thereof.
Exhibit 7