The City’s allegations of harassment are primarily based on Clerk Reid’s actions to refusal to engage in the Evanston Law Department’s withholding Freedom of Information Act records and reporting the withholdings to the ARDC and Court, the latter requesting a Declaratory Judgment.
Robbins Schwartz, the law firm the City has retained since 2015 exclusively to investigate Human Resources complaints against African-American City employees, recommended on May 13, 2019 that City Council expand the number of FOIA officers as part of the City’s litigation against Reid’s suit for the FOIA controversies with the City and Law Department. The Law Department and corporation counsel subsequently argued the Mayor’s May resolution to expand the number of officers as moot.
All three complainants filed in April 2019. At last night’s Council meeting, Complainant Michelle Masoncup advised both Reid and Council on her own Complaint. Find a full accounting of the City’s Investigative Findings below. Masoncup was also involved in all but one of Council’s closed meetings to discuss the complaints and “investigation.”
Complainants: Corporation Counsel Michelle Masoncup and Assistant Attorney Alexandra Ruggie
Masoncup reported that Reid engaged in “hostile debates” with Masoncup related to FOIA matters and filed a “frivolous” complaint to the Illinois Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission. [Ed Note: Reid’s ARDC complaint regarded Masoncup’s repeated refusal to comply with FOIA] Masoncup also referenced an allegation by another complainant.
Ruggie reported that Reid engaged in “hostile debates” with Masoncup related to FOIA matters.
Complainant: Former Deputy Clerk Eduardo Gomez
Gomez reported that Reid issued Gomez a written reprimand for performing his FOIA duties per the Law Department’s directives. (At time of the complaint, Clerk Reid was the only designated FOIA officer, and the Law Department had no statutory FOIA authority. Gomez reported to Evanston Leads at the time that he believed the Law Department was violating FOIA.)
Gomez also reported that Reid referred to Corporation Counsel, Michelle Masoncup, as a “cuck” and “bitch” within his earshot, and that Reid “provided” Gomez an audio recording in which, 91 hours into the 111-hour recording, included a “sexually charged discussion” between Reid and another at Reid’s home. Reid said it was intended to be a private conversation, but it was captured when Reid inadvertently left a City recording device on following a Council meeting.
The City’s outside counsel reported, “We believe credible evidence exists showing Reid expressed an anti-female animus against Corporation Counsel Masoncup and referred to her as a “cuck” and a “bitch.”