Open records advocates: Knox County charging for public document inspection is illegal

Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler is breaking the law whenever he and KCSO employees fulfill public records requests, Tennessee Coalition of Open Government Executive Director Deborah Fisher said Monday.

This came after lawyers for the county defended its practice of charging residents for public records inspections, which the state comptroller says should be free.

A state comptroller’s report written in 2008 says charges can be assessed for the cost of making the copy and staff time after the custodian has spent at least one hour working on the request if the requester wants copies of the documents. If the requester wants only to inspect the documents, there is to be no charge. (Read more here…)