NFOIC's State FOIA Friday for November 9, 2012

November 9, 2012 2:25 PM

A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week:

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Ohio: Top lawyers analyze court rulings in new report

The Ohio Coalition for Open Government has compiled a must-read collection of stories about important court rulings and developments affecting Sunshine laws. The 16-page fall Open Government Report features analysis of court decisions by John Greiner and David Marburger, two of the top government-transparency lawyers in Ohio, and insight from the coalition’s president, Dennis Hetzel, executive director of the Ohio Newspaper Association.

Visit The Columbus Dispatch for the rest.

Georgia: Horgan files open meetings complaint over county mgr. interviews

Fayette County Commissioner Robert Horgan has filed a formal open meetings complaint regarding the interview process to hire a new county manager, an effort undertaken by two of Horgan’s fellow commissioners along with the three commissioners-elect who will take office in January. The complaint was lodged this week with the office of Attorney General Sam Olens, which is empowered to investigate open meetings complaints.

Visit TheCitizen.com for the rest.

New Jersey: Municipal Clerk to keep track of OPRA requests

Fair Lawn (Nov 8, 2012) - The municipal clerk will begin keeping track of how much time she spends fulfilling Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests. The request came from Deputy Mayor Ed Trawinski during the Oct. 23 work session. He said he wants to see how much time the municipal clerk, who is in charge of borough records, spends addressing requests that come from companies aiming to make a profit from the information they get.

Visit NorthJersey.com for the rest.

New Mexico attorney general to hold open government seminar

Albuquerque (Nov 8, 2012) - Attorney General Gary King's office plans a meeting in Las Cruces next month to help educate citizens and public officials about New Mexico's open government laws. The office will make presentations on the Open Meetings Act and the Inspection Public Records Act, which provides the public access to documents and other information kept by government agencies.

Visit KOB.com for the rest.

Vermont Superior Court says public agencies can’t sue records requesters

Montpelier (Nov 8, 2012) - The Vermont Superior Court in Rutland has told a school supervisory union it can’t turn around and sue someone who has just made a public records request to a public agency such as a school. In the spring of this year, the Addison Rutland Supervisory Union sent Benson parent Marcel Cyr a no-trespass order, barring him from attending school board meetings or even setting foot on any school property in the supervisory union. He was threatened with arrest if he did. When Cyr submitted a public records request asking for documents relevant to why he was being banned from school property, the supervisory union at first said that it needed extra time to respond. But instead of responding to Cyr’s request, the supervisory union sued him in superior court in Rutland and asked that the court declare school officials didn’t have to answer the public records request.

Visit VTDigger.com for the rest.

Del. water authority ordered to comply with FOIA

Dover, Del. (Nov 7, 2012) — A Kent County judge ordered a local water and sewer authority on Wednesday to comply with Delaware's Freedom of Information Act and disclose information about employee salaries. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the state attorney general's office against the Camden-Wyoming Sewer and Water Authority. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Georgette Williams, a member of the Wyoming town council who also serves as town treasurer.

Visit San Francisco Chronicle for the rest.

Campbell: Declassified documents give Orem woman some answers

(Oct 24, 2012) - Leslie Randle remembers well the time she bid her grandparents goodbye from the apartment building she and her family shared with them in Los Angeles. Her grandparents, Hugh and Elinor Yancey, had packed their bags and were off on another 19-week USO tour to entertain U.S. soldiers in Alaska and across the Pacific. A few weeks later, the military informed Leslie’s family that the Yanceys had died in a military plane crash just off the runway at a remote base in Alaska. There were no survivors. Most of Leslie’s family had put the story behind them, trusting the sparse facts released by the government after the crash. But for Leslie, questions about how and where the Yanceys died have haunted her for four decades. This spring, with the help of the Internet and the federal Freedom of Information Act, she found more answers. While for some the U.S. records law may be a way to uncover corruption, for Leslie the records released through the law have helped bring enlightenment.

Visit Salt Lake Tribune for the rest.