City attorney says release of scoresheets used during police chief interviews won’t be released

Ryan Schnack

City attorney Ryan Schnack | David Adam

QUINCY — A motion was made during the May 2 meeting of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners that the group scoring sheets, as well as individual interviewer scoring sheets, used during the interview process for the new chief of the Quincy Police Department last week would be made public.

The motion from commissioner Steve Meckes was made “subject to legal review and approval.”

City attorney Ryan Schnack researched the issue and doesn’t believe that information should be disclosed. He referred to the Freedom of Information Act, which lists reasons why requested records could be exempted from disclosure. One was that the requested information contains test questions, scoring keys or other examination data used to administer an academic examination.

“There also was something else under the Personnel Records Review Act where employees have the right to keep these records private,” Schnack said. “I think for the protection of the city, these (records) should not be released.

“With the psychological testing, the medical testing, things like that, it’s obviously going to be private. Some of this information can be fairly sensitive.”

The three candidates — Jonathan Lewin, a 28-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department; Shannon Pilkington, deputy chief of operations with the Quincy Police Department; and Adam Yates, deputy chief of administrative services with the Quincy Police Department went through in a two-day interview process last month. They met with staff and took part in a community forum on April 28. The fire and police commissioners, as well as a five-person stakeholder group, interviewed the candidates on April 29.

The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners announced May 2 it was offering a six-month probationary appointment to Lewin. However, commissioner Steve Meckes said two of the three groups that interviewed the three candidates listed Yates, not Lewin, as its top choice.

Asked if the city would release the scoresheets if each of the candidates gave their approval, Schnack said, “I haven’t looked into that issue, but I think that would be a game changer. I think it’s good to have the public notified of what’s going on, but there’s also parameters that we have to abide by at the city. We want to make sure that we’re doing this correctly.”

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