Illinois AG orders release of emails related to Laquan McDonald case

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office has issued an opinion stating that privately transmitted emails about government business are subject to disclosure in a case involving Chicago police officers’ discussion of the Laquan McDonald shooting.

Open-records advocates say the public access counselor’s binding declaration — combined with a May court opinion about Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s emails — swings the pendulum toward transparency over an issue that has embroiled officials from Illinois right up to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state.

The opinion last week found that the Chicago Police Department improperly failed to search 12 officers’ personal email accounts in response to an inquiry from CNN about the October 2014 police shooting of McDonald.

A Chicago police spokesman says officials are reviewing options.