CHICAGO (CBS) — The Rosemont Village Board has voted to keep secret key financial information about the village’s convention business.

Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens said it comes down to Rosemont being at a competitive disadvantage by having to turn over to the public information about finances, incentives, and more for the Allstate Arena, the Donald Stephens Convention Center and the Rosemont Theater.

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Stephens said privately-run convention halls, concert arenas, and theaters don’t have to make that kind of information public, and by knowing how much Rosemont charges or what incentives it offers to bring in a show, private competitors would have an upper-hand.

Bob Reed, head of investigations for the Better Government Association, said the village’s decision would set a bad precedent.

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“We’re talking, basically, a convention business that is a public entity, that is using public funds, and the people have a right to know how that money is being spent,” he said.

He called the ordinance “troubling,” and said the BGA is going to take a hard look at it, because it appears to violate the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

Stephens has said he believes the village has the authority to exempt its convention business from falling under the state’s Freedom of Information Act, as a home rule municipality.

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