NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for December 28, 2012

State FOIA Friday News A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week:

NY paper publishes names of concealed gun permit holders

NEW YORK (AP) — A newspaper’s publication of the names and addresses of handgun permit holders in two New York counties has sparked online discussions — and a healthy dose of outrage. The Journal News, a Gannett Co. newspaper covering three counties in the Hudson Valley north of New York City and operating the website, posted a story Sunday detailing a public-records request it filed to obtain the information.

Visit for the rest.

State Supreme Court sides with transparency in refusing to seal court records

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that court records in criminal cases should be open to the public for “an effective, functioning judicial system.” The three-judge panel refused to seal the records of the federal public defender’s office, although some of the items may be embarrassing that show inappropriate conduct by the lawyers.

Visit Las Vegas Sun for the rest.

South Bay officials charged in Sunshine Law scandal

Three elected officials in South Bay have been suspended from office after being charged with Sunshine Law violations. The Palm Beach Post reported Thursday that Gov. Rick Scott has suspended South Bay Mayor Shirley Walker-Turner, vice mayor Linda Johnson and commissioner John Wilson.

Visit The Ledger for the rest.

Lake Wales warned about its records by open government expert

LAKE WALES — A Florida open government expert recently warned Lake Wales City Manager Terry Leary and Mayor Mike Carter to be careful about the city's public records policy. The warning came after a dispute over whether the city manager will now review large records requests.

Visit The Ledger for the rest.

NJ payroll company waives fee for public records

The former payroll service provider for Raritain Borough being sued by the Gannett New Jersey newspapers has waived the $1,100 fee it charged to convert the borough’s payroll records into the electronic format requested by the newspaper in 2008. … In a ruling hailed as a victory for open government, Superior Court Judge Yolanda Ciccone in August said that the newspaper company was entitled to the payroll and overtime information in easy-to-analyze electronic format even though the raw data was located on computers owned by the payroll company. … The borough finally produced the payroll information on Excel spreadsheets just this week.

Visit Daily Record for the rest.

Beaufort County legislators support renewed effort to reform SC FOIA

Beaufort County legislators pledged Wednesday to support a bill in the S.C. House of Representatives intended to speed government response to requests for information. Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken, filed a bill Tuesday that would close loopholes in the state's Freedom of Information Act allowing S.C. agencies, school districts, towns and cities to drag their feet filling records requests.

Visit The Island Packet for the rest.

'Special admissions' bring colleges top athletes, educational challenges

It has become part of college sports — as ingrained as dunks and FieldTurf — for large universities to accept prized basketball and football recruits and other athletes under more forgiving admissions criteria than are used for other students. Less understood is what happens to these top athletes once they arrive in their college classrooms. Do their grades ever catch up to those of their teammates or the rest of the student body? Do they remain in school and graduate? Interviews and documents, obtained by The Baltimore Sun through more than a dozen public records requests, offer a rare profile of hundreds of these athletes and show that the "special admits" typically have not performed as well as other players in the classroom and pose unique and expensive academic challenges at the University of Maryland, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech and other schools.

Visit The Baltimore Sun for the rest.

IA: Rubashkin attorney speaks out about new FOIA lawsuit

An attorney from the Washington-based Jones Day law firm, in an exclusive interview with Yated, said he hopes a current multi-pronged FOIA lawsuit on behalf of Sholom Rubashkin will uncover significant evidence that can be instrumental in gaining relief for him. The lawsuit was filed by Mr. Larry Rosenberg in September 2011, in a second, much broader effort to obtain full disclosure from all four federal agencies involved in the 2008 federal investigation leading up to the Postville raid, and the subsequent Rubashkin trial.

Visit Yated Ne'eman for the rest.

FOI officer probing Preston referendum

Preston, Conn. — A state Freedom of Information Commission official has agreed to examine events surrounding a Nov. 27 referendum in which an $8 million environmental loan package was defeated by Preston voters. First Selectman Robert Congdon said selectmen didn’t file formal complaints with the commission, but FOI Public Education Officer Thomas Hennick will conduct an informal review of the vote.

Visit Norwich Bulletin for the rest.