Marion County Coroner sued for failure to honor Freedom of Information Act request

MARION COUNTY — Marion County Coroner Troy Cannon is facing a lawsuit filed in court last month by a Sandoval man under the Freedom of Information Act.

(Source: Marion County Coroner’s Office)

According to correspondence between Shane Lyberger and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, on March 30, 2020, Lyberger asked Cannon’s office for public records surrounding the financial status of the Coroner’s Office.

According to the Complaint, Cannon refused to properly respond to the request, saying his office is not currently functioning in an administrative capacity and would not be able to respond until after the COVID-19 crisis has passed.

Lyberger then filed a request for review with the Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor, who after several requests to Cannon for a response, determined Cannon had violated the Freedom of Information Act by not responding to the AG’s Office and that as a public official, he had a duty to respond to FOIA requests.

After still not receiving a response from Cannon, Lyberger filed a complaint on September 16 in Marion County Court.

Cannon has 30 days from the receipt of the complaint to respond but as of October 9, he had not done so.

Lyberger’s Complaint asks for the requested records, attorney fees and costs, and a civil penalty of $5,000 payable to the Plaintiff.

When reached for comment, Cannon said it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on pending action.