‘Walking quorums’ block Iowa government openness

From Press-citizen.com:

During the Sept. 18 open government workshop with the Iowa Newspaper Association, local citizens learned much about how to use the state’s public records and open meetings laws to hold their officials accountable. But the existing laws have one major weakness: they still allow circumvention through a process called “walking quorums.”

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ACLU sues Des Moines schools for records from closed Nancy Sebring meeting

From Des Moines Register:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa today filed a lawsuit to force the Des Moines school district to provide materials from a May 10 meeting closed to the public, after which the school board voted to accept the resignation of former superintendent Nancy Sebring.

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Iowa Supreme Court rules in favor of UI in records request lawsuit

From The Daily Iowan:

The Iowa Supreme Court on July 13 ruled that the University of Iowa is not obligated to turn over student records to the Iowa City Press-Citizen related to a 2007 sexual-assault investigation.

The court ruled 4-3 that the university does not need to hand over student records to the newspaper, after the UI had been forced to hand more than hundreds of other documents following the lawsuit.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for July 6, 2012

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:

Reverse surveillance: ACLU-NJ’s police tape app lets you secretly record any video interactions with cops

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115 new Sebring emails released on judge’s ruling

From The Des Moines Register:

Additional email exchanges between former Des Moines schools superintendent Nancy Sebring and her male lover became public Friday after a Polk County judge refused to block their release.

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House restores teeth to open-records bill

From Des Moines Register:

The Iowa House today approved a much-improved bill on transparency and open government than the one I wrote about in today’s column.  The legislation, which creates a board to review complaints and enforce Iowa’s Open Meetings and Records Law, made significant strides today.

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