Governor, lawmakers off limits under public records law

Steve Toth has lived his entire life in southwest Detroit, and his family home is among those expected to be demolished to make way for a new public bridge to Canada pushed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

But Toth, who has waited with increasing frustration for a state offer to buy his home on South Crawford, said he feels stymied in his efforts to get information about the government's intentions: Snyder moved planning for the proposed New International Trade Crossing into his office after the Legislature approved budget language barring the Michigan Department of Transportation from spending money on the project.

Toth, aware the governor's office is exempt from the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, said he tried and failed to get what he needed through phone calls with Snyder's staff. He felt his only recourse was to make FOIA requests to MDOT, which told him the records he sought did not exist. Continue>>>