National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

More City Transparency: Council Posts Agenda Packets Online, Finally (Mississippi)

In a step toward compliance with state law, and the latest in a series of steps to generate transparency in local government, the Jackson City Council posted its agenda packet for next week's meeting online: a first for the Jackson municipal government. Those documents are the back-up materials that council members get for discussions during meetings.

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Judge delays DMR records ruling

From Sun Herald: GULFPORT — Chancery Court Judge Jennifer Schloegel said Friday she will wait to see how a hearing in federal court plays out before she rules on whether the state auditor is in contempt in her court over his failure to produce public records.

And she also stepped back from her order earlier this week that State Auditor Stacey Pickering and the state Department of Marine Resources produce by Monday the DMR records the Sun Herald is seeking, records that Pickering says are part of a state and federal investigation.

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Miss. newspaper seeks contempt order in records dispute

From SunHerald.com: BILOXI, MISS. — The Sun Herald has asked a judge to hold Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering and his office in civil contempt of court for failing to turn over records requested by the newspaper.

The Sun Herald sued Pickering for access to records that his office had seized from the state Department of Marine Resources as part of an ongoing investigation of the agency.

Visit SunHerald.com for more.

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Mississippi auditor wants secret court proceedings in public records case; Sun Herald objects

From Sun Herald: State Auditor Stacey Pickering has sent a secret memorandum to the judge in a public records lawsuit filed by the Sun Herald, but the newspaper objects to any consideration of the document.

Chancery Court Judge Jennifer Schloegel declared DMR records the auditor seized in January are public and must be copied for the Sun Herald. However, Auditor Stacey Pickering whisked off the records to Jackson, under federal grand jury subpoena, before the judge’s orders could be followed.

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State ethics opinion sought in records denial

From The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal: TUPELO – The Daily Journal has requested an advisory opinion from the Mississippi Ethics Commission after the city of Tupelo denied an open records request for emails between Mayor Jason Shelton and former city Development Services Director BJ Teal.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for November 8, 2013

From NFOIC:  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. While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.

Brevard corruption case morphs into public records battle

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Bryant signs gun bill senator expedited to block FOI requests

From Madison County Journal:

Sen. Will Longwitz expedited a popular gun bill that has closed concealed-carry permit records in what he said was an effort to aid the Department of Public Safety in denying two pending public records requests.

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Closing public records is scary path to walk

Editorial from NatchezDemocrat.com:

When government filing cabinets and computers start locking, our great nation loses part of the freedom that makes us America.

Yet, a shocking number of elected officials in the Mississippi House of Representatives appear ready to do just that in response to just one incident hundreds of miles away.

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