Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office ruled that Shorewood Police Department and its attorney David Silverman violated the Freedom of Information Act when they widely denied Patch's request for documents relating to the unsolved 1987 murder of David Wolfson.
Coincidently, Silverman is a former Shorewood Police Officer who processed the crime scene.
When the police denied Patch's request last July, Silverman said at the time that he had a lot of experience with the Freedom of Information Act and could not imagine any circumstances under which any police department should ever provide any case documents with a case the police never solved. Read that story here.
The attorney general disagreed.
Assistant Attorney General Tola Sobitan wrote that it took so long to review Patch's appeal due to the volume of documents, many of which were duplicates. Sources close to the investigation said there were numerous cartons of documents.
Despite Madigan's emphasis on government transparency, the Shorewood police initially provided nothing more than a nine-page police report, nearly six pages of which were blacked out.
Concerning the victim's personal information, the attorney general sided with the police, stating that certain documents should remain confidential. Those documents include the victim's social security number, personal financial records, passwords, home addresses, telephone numbers, and notes to and from family members. Investigator's notes will also remain private, Sobitan said.
Silverman said that he will make all other documents available Oct. 12. Those records are expected to include the autopsy reports, the claims on reward money and the missing person progress reports.
"You can look at what we get and if you think you are entitled to more then we can talk about it," Silverman said this week.
The battle over the Wolfson reports began when Police Chief Robert Puelo retired in July 2011. He said at the time that he regretted not having closed the Wolfson murder. As a courtesy, Patch agreed to revisit the case. Puelo's memory was sketchy, and Patch requested the police report and all relevant documents in the case.