National watchdog group criticizes Chattanooga’s EPB $1,700 charge for open records

A non-profit watchdog group in Washington D.C. is criticizing Chattanooga's EPB over the costs associated with a recent open records request. A UTC student, and intern for the group, says he was slapped with a large fee after wanting to know more about how much the publicly-owned provider spends on advertising.

"They're not a private business. They're not Comcast. They're not Charter," says Ethan Greene. Ethan Greene says he was hit with a large fee when he filed an open records request to look into EPB's advertising agreements and spending, as well as emails from top management, spanning from 2012 to March 2014.

"In order for me to view those records, not to receive copies, but just to view them, that I first had to pay the fee that they assessed of $1,767.07," says Greene. He filed the request at the end of March. To see if the cost would drop, he filed separate requests in April but the fee stayed the same. In May, he wrote a check. "I got help from the Taxpayers Protection Alliance. I mean, it was in my bank account, it came from my checking account that I paid." Continue>>>