Winnebago County
Winnebago County Seal

Freedom of Information Act Contacts and Requests


The purpose of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is to ensure 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.

The principle mandate of the Act provides that each public body shall make available to any person for inspection, or upon submission of a written request, to provide copies of any requested records that are subject to disclosure under the Act.  Not all records are subject to disclosure, and the Act provides a number of exemptions.

This Act is not intended to be used to violate individual privacy, nor for the purpose of furthering a commercial enterprise, or to disrupt the duly-undertaken work of any public body independent of the fulfillment of any of the rights of the people to access to information (5 ILCS 140/1.) The first 50 printed pages are free; additional pages are $0.15 each.)

FOIA Officers

County Board Chairman's FOIA Officer: Julia Halsted - JHalsted@WINcoIL.us - (815) 319-4238 - 404 Elm St, Rm 533, Rockford, IL 61101

  • County Board and Administration including Animal Services, Building Maintenance, Board Office, Highway Department, Human Resources, Purchasing, Regional Planning, Riverbluff Nursing Home, Supervisor of Assessments
  • FOIA REQUEST FORM for the above named departments: click here

Auditor's FOIA Officer: Bill Crowley or Bryan Cutler - (815) 319-4200 - 404 Elm St, Rm 201, Rockford, IL 61101

Coroner's FOIA Officer: Bill Hintz or Carrie Schabacker - (815) 319-4970 - 403 Elm St, Rockford, IL 61101

County Clerk's FOIA Officer:  Maria Rogers or Lou Bradford - (815) 319-4252 - 404 Elm St, Rockford, IL 61101

Recorder's FOIA Officer: Diane Johnson or Jill Hinerichsen - (815) 319-4325 - 404 Elm St, Rockford, IL 61101

Sheriff's FOIA Officer: Don Gasparini, Jr. or Annette Rezlaff - (815) 319-6000 - 650 W State St, Rockford, IL 61101

Treasurer's FOIA Officer: Sue Goral - (815) 319-4400 - 404 Elm St, Rm 205, Rockford, IL 61101

Response Time for FOIA Requests

Non-commercial requests shall receive a response compliant with (5 ILCS/140/3) within five working days following receipt of the written or emailed request. Commercial requests are permitted 21 working days for response. In such cases, Winnebago County will: 

(1) provide a reasonable estimate of time needed to comply with the request along with an estimate of the fees which the requestor will be charged;

(2) deny the request pursuant to a statutory exemption;

(3) notify the requestor if the request is unduly burdensome and allow the requestor to revise the request to manageable proportions; or

(4) provide the requested records. The five (5) day count begins the day after the receipt of the FOIA request by the Department Head, or designee.  The requestermay be notified of a five (5) day extension (working days) if the files are voluminous, at different locations, or if other reasons make it impossible to assemble and mail the request out within the normal five (5) day period.

All county employees are required to cooperate in the fulfillment of requests for information

Information provided or denied under FOIA; however, certain documents may be exempt from disclosure pursuant to specific sections in the Freedom of Information Act (5ILCS 140/3(g);7;7.5). When a public body denies a request for public records, that body must, within five (5) working days, or within any extended compliance period provided for in the Act, notify the person who made the request, by letter, of the decision to deny the request. The letter must explain the reasons for the denial, and give the names and titles of all persons responsible for the denial.

Appeal of FOIA Requests Denied

To the extent that your request is being denied, you have a right to have the denial of your request reviewed by the Public Access Counselor (PAC) at the Office of the Illinois Attorney General as described in 5 ILCS 140/9.5(a). Requests for review may be submitted to the PAC at:

Sarah Pratt, Public Access Counselor at the Office of the Attorney General

500 S. Second St., Springfield, IL 62706

Phone: 877-299-3642, Fax: 217-782-1396, Email: publicaccess@atg.state.il.us

This further provides you notification that you have the right to judicial review as provided under 5 ILCS 140/11.

Illinois FOIA FAQs can be found at http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/government/FAQ_FOIA_Public.pdf

FOIA - Request For Review By Public Access Counselor (PAC) Form can be found at http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/government/Request%20for%20Review%20Form%20--%20FOIA%20v1.pdf

For additional information regarding the Freedom of Information Act, please visit the Illinois Attorney General's website http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/government/index.html 

Additional Pages:

Winnebago County
404 Elm Street
Rockford, IL 61101
OFC: (815) 319-4444
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