NFOIC’s FOI Friday for April 20, 2012

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

Jessica Dorrell, Bobby Petrino Scandal Shows Power Of FOIA

Bobby Petrino is just the latest Arkansas coach to reveal a bit too much on a state issued cell phone. Petrino was dismissed by Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long on before his phone records became available, but the revealing records won't make it any easier for him to land his next job.

Visit International Business Times for the rest.

Judicial Watch Sues DHS for Records Regarding President's Illegal Alien Uncle

Judicial Watch, the organization that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for records related to President Obama's illegal alien uncle, Onyango Obama, who was arrested in August 2011 on drunken driving charges in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Visit Wall Street Journal for the rest.

FOIA Requests Overwhelm City Clerk’s Office

A small number of individuals and entities are responsible for the 10 to 20 weekly Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that are overwhelming Evanston’s city clerk’s office, said City Clerk Rodney Greene at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

Visit Evanston Patch for the rest.

Poisons lurk where lead-smelting factories once stood

Ken Shefton is furious about what the government knew eight years ago and never told him — that the neighborhood where his five sons have been playing is contaminated with lead.

Visit USA Today for the rest.

Hawaii Open Government Under Attack

All is not well in the Aloha state. “Sunshine” advocates including Rep. Barbara Marumoto are rising up to oppose a recent attack on Hawaii’s open government. A new bill that was introduced earlier this year is set to intentionally delay responses to public records requests. SB2858 “Creates a process for an agency to obtain judicial review of a decision made by the Office of Information Practices relating to the Sunshine Law or the Uniform Information Practices Act, and clarifies standard of review.”

Visit Government in the Lab for the rest.

CIA Digs In, Refuses to Repeal Damaging Mandatory Declassification Review Regulations.

The CIA has responded to a letter signed by 36 groups requesting that the it withdraw new MDR fee regulations that allow it to charge up to $72 per hour to search for documents –even if none are found.  The response from the CIA’s Information Management Services: Talk to our lawyers, not us.

Visit Unredacted for the rest.

Groups File FOIA Request on 2009 Yemeni Attack

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights have filed a Freedom of Information Act request looking into a 2009 U.S. missile strike that killed 41 Yemeni people, the groups announced on Tuesday.

Visit National Journal for the rest.

Watchdog Group Sues County For Records Of Investigation Of Freeholder’s Son

The Union County Watchdog Association (UCWA) has filed a lawsuit in Union County Superior Court seeking access to investigatory records involving a former county employee, Patrick Scanlon, Jr., who is the son of Freeholder Deborah Scanlon.

Visit NJToday for the rest.