Government transparency job left vacant in Maryland

When a Towson University student journalist asked for emails about how school officials dealt with allegations that someone had videotaped the swim team getting undressed, university officials asked him to pay more than $2,000 for the records request.

The student, Cody Boteler, asked to have the fees waived. When the university did not promptly respond, the senior wrote a scathing editorial in the Towerlight student publication, saying it was "asinine" to ask a student journalist to pay so much.

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Without members, open meetings board can’t meet

Five months after Maryland's open-meetings compliance board ruled that the Housing Authority of Prince George's County violated open-meetings law, the public housing agency has been accused again of holding an illegal gathering.

But the compliance board that issued two citations against the housing authority in December is unable to address the new complaint filed by Maryland Legal Aid.

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Maryland legislature revamps public information law

Obtaining documents from government agencies in Maryland is no simple task. The process typically involves filing a written request under the state's Public Information Act and waiting up to 30 days — but can also lead to disputes over photocopying fees, redacted details or outright denials.

Reporters, lawyers, nonprofits and others have long had only one way to resolve disputes: in the courts.

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