FOIA Council in VA: No on making open records violations a misdemeanor

Virginia won't be adding criminal penalties to its Freedom of Information Act any time soon.

The state's FOIA Council shot that proposal down Wednesday afternoon without even needing to send it to a subcommittee for study.

House Bill 2223, from Del. Rick Morris, R-Carrollton, would have made the deliberate refusal to release public information a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The bill passed the House of Delegates earlier this year on a nearly unanimous vote, but the state Senate sent it to the FOIA Council – an appointed group that focuses on Virginia's open records and meetings laws – for further study.  Continue>>>