Open government group raises concern over Neronha’s agreement with Providence Diocese

PROVIDENCE — A freedom-of-information coalition in Rhode Island is raising red flags over the “blanket” secrecy Attorney General Peter Neronha promised the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence in a “memorandum of understanding” aimed at gaining access to diocesan records dating back to 1950 of alleged child sex abuse by clergy.

“Troubling precedent,″ wrote Linda Lotridge Levin, the retired University of Rhode Island journalism professor who is president of Access/RI, a coalition that counts, among its board members, representatives of the Rhode Island affiliate of the ACLU, Common Cause Rhode Island, the League of Women Voters of Rhode Island and the New England First Amendment Coalition.

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