Our View: Public officials need to respect the freedom of access granted by the Oklahoma Open Records Act and honor their duty to fulfill such requests.
Freedom of Information laws are intended to allow the public access to records they have rights to review and posses. Additionally, the laws encourage bureaucratic transparency and accountability. These laws exist to ensure freedom of access to records and meetings that are public information. Naturally, we become suspicious when public officials try to skirt Freedom of Information laws and obscure requests.
We take violations of the Open Records Act seriously and the law does too. Sadly, the law is rarely enforced. In the eyes of the law violating the Oklahoma Open Records Act is a misdemeanor carrying a possible one-year jail sentence and $500 fine ó nearly the exact same sentence people arrested for marijuana possession receive. While people are arrested all the time for smoking pot, Freedom of Information violators are almost never punished for their crime. Continue>>>