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Attorney General asks Oakwood Hills to open

Published: Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014 4:13 p.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014 11:02 p.m. CDT

OAKWOOD HILLS – The Illinois Attorney General's Office has asked the Village of Oakwood Hills to resume business "as soon as possible" following an investigation request from state Rep. David McSweeney and state Sen. Dan Duffy.

In a letter dated Aug. 22, Chief Deputy Attorney General Brent Stratton told village officials while the office has no opinion on the zoning process of a proposed $450 million power plant or on the seriousness of any threats, the village should resume business with the public.

Stratton wrote in the letter the controversy regarding the proposed power plant relates to the zoning process and not ordinary village business.

"Even if members of the public continue to express their opposition to the proposed power plant, the village offices themselves could and should be open so that the public can conduct whatever business they have with the village," he wrote.

McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, applauded the attorney general's office for its stance and implored the village to open Monday instead of the reported Sept. 2 date that was given to the attorney general by village officials.

"It's time for the village office to open," McSweeney said. "There is a group of people who are concerned about what's going on in their community."

McSweeney and Duffy, R-Lake Barrington, requested the Illinois Attorney General investigate Oakwood Hills on Aug. 14 after learning there were no documented threats. Both lawmakers have been critical about the lack of transparency and communication from Oakwood Hills during consideration of the power plant.

Village president Melanie Funk announced on Aug. 2 village business would be suspended indefinitely because of threats made to village officials. A Freedom of Information Act request showed there has been no documented cases of threats made to any official or employee of the village.

Many residents in Oakwood Hills and nearby communities have actively opposed a 430-megawatt, natural gas plant that would be located within a mile of a school and in Oakwood Hills boundaries. Two public zoning hearings on the matter drew large crowds of opponents where Funk had said a threat was made.

One village board meeting has been canceled along with the annual auto show. The village motto was also removed from the website.

Funk did not immediately return a message as to whether the village would open Monday or Sept. 2.

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