NFOIC’s FOI Friday for April 6, 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.

Adkisson ordered to release emails

A state district judge on Thursday ruled that Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson must release messages about public business from his private email account, but the legal battle is far from over.

Visit for the rest.

State's open record laws will deter potential superintendent candidates

Florida's open records laws will impact the quality of applicants seeking the Duval County Public Schools superintendent position, according to the president of a national education nonprofit that trains school boards.

Visit for the rest.

Battle brews over ballot inspection legislation

A voters’ rights advocate says Pueblo County is stonewalling her requests under the Colorado Open Records Act to review how legislation regarding voted ballots was crafted.

Visit The Pueblo Chieftain for the rest.

Access to public records at stake

How the state courts rule on a lawsuit brought by the Gannett New Jersey newspapers against a small Somerset County borough could change the way government agencies do business in the state — or it could set back the clock on government transparency.

Visit for the rest.

NJ rethinks 2 key open-government laws

Under a pair of bills under consideration by New Jersey lawmakers, town council members would no longer be able to text each other during public meetings, government agencies that have websites would have to use them to provide information about their meetings; and official video and audio recordings of meetings would be included as public records.

Visit Asbury Park Press for the rest.

Times-Tribune asks judge to make Mellow court records open

The Times-Tribune filed court papers today asking a federal judge to deny prosecutors' request to keep documents hidden from public view involving their criminal case against former state Sen. Robert J. Mellow.

Visit The Times-Tribune for the rest.

Selectmen refuse email records

On March 8, Scott Houde of Ayer sent a records request to Town Administrator Robert Pontbriand, "requesting all emails of Selectmen James Fay and Gary Luca" sent "between them and Trinity Financial" dating back to Nov. 1, 2011 through to the date of his request.

Visit Nashoba Publishing for the rest.

Texas cities take Open Meetings Act case to federal appeals court

The Texas Open Meetings Act stifles free speech and leaves officials open to criminal penalties for mentioning government business in informal settings, an attorney for 15 city leaders challenging the law told a federal appeals court Thursday.

Visit Star Telegram for the rest.

Federal Reserve, SEC balk at FOIA requests

This week, Bloomberg reporter William Cohen described his story of how long and difficult it can be to get information from the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Federal Reserve regarding Wall Street firms, specifically Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns and Lazard Freres.

Visit Daily Caller for the rest.

21 Previously Unreleased FDA Inspection Reports

As part of our Sunshine Week coverage last month, POGO released a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection reportoutlining problems the agency discovered at Invacare, a company that makes medical beds. But that inspection report was just one of a handful that POGO obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Today, we’re releasing those other reports. 

Visit Project on Government Oversight for the rest.