Fort: State's Attorney voluntarily provided jailhouse calls

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Reporter - Kendall Downing

SALINE COUNTY, Ill. - Saline County's former chief deputy Todd Fort says the state's attorney voluntarily publicized phone calls while he was in jail, and that's why he is suing.

Todd Fort entered a guilty plea in September 2011 to criminal sexual abuse of a minor. His phone calls were taped for more than a year while he was in jail.

Fort claims much of the subject matter was private, revolving around his mother and sister dying of cancer. Those phone calls later got posted on a website known as The Disclosure.

Saline County State's Attorney Mike Henshaw maintains the calls were released by his office because the publication filed a Freedom of Information Act request.

In one of the many documents Todd Fort filed on Thursday, he claims the state's attorney provided the calls and told The Disclosure to run them.

"We're very dubious about whether there was an original FOIA request at all," said Darrell Dunham.

Dunham said they don't believe the FOIA letter included in the suit is authentic. They are asking that the original document be made available for inspection.

"If there wasn't an original FOIA request, then he's not entitled to any immunity," said Dunham.

State's Attorney Mike Henshaw told Local 6 he wouldn't comment on the pending suit or new allegations.

He's being represented by the Illinois Attorney General's office and using public official immunity as one defense for initially responding to the FOIA request.

A Franklin County judge has been approved to hear the case.

Local 6 reached out to The Disclosure website on Thursday afternoon. They told us they hadn't seen the new documents yet and could not comment.

Fort is also trying to add The Disclosure and its editors as defendant parties in the suit.

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