Byron needs a new library. That's the one thing everyone agrees on. Where that building will be has stirred up a controversy that's gone all the way to the Illinois Attorney General.
The city of Byron and the Byron Library Department are locked in a lawsuit. The library wants to build its new facility on Blackhawk Drive. But Mayor Nason calls that street the economic lifeblood of Byron. He says any building on the street should be a commercial business.
Now as the plot thickens, the library could be facing felony charges.
Over the summer, Byron Alderman Robin Sisouk requested access to an e-mail exchange from the library director to several trustees. The subject was a possible new location for the library.
The library denied the request, saying it did not have the e-mails at that time. However, under the Federal Freedom of Information Act, a public body is responsible to reveal information, even on e-mails that have been deleted.
Byron Mayor R. Scot Nason wants the library held to the same standards the city would be.
"We are responsible for being upfront and forthright with our constituents. If there is a meeting or minutes that they would like to read or listen to a recording and they file a freedom of information act, we are legally obligated to provide that information for them," Nason says.
Alderman Sisouk took the matter to Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Now she's pressuring the library to hand over the documents. If they don't, they face felony charges for concealing a public record.