NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for November 15, 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.

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Ohio Supreme Court rules that a governor’s pardon does not automatically seal records of the crime

From Cleveland.com: COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a person granted a pardon by the governor is not automatically entitled to have the records of their crime and conviction sealed from public view.

Rather, absent requirements in Ohio’s law that it be granted automatically, it should be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine if it is appropriate, the court ruled.

Visit Ceveland.com for more.

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Mayor files public record request against council member, seeks damages

From Cleveland.com: OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio — Mayor Robert Blomquist has filed a public records request against Councilwoman at Large Ann Marie Donegan. He is seeking emails related to a health fair for senior citizens she organized with another council member.

To date, Donegan has not provided the requested emails, and Blomquist said he will seek further legal action.

Visit Cleveland.com for more.

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Opinion: Ohio Supreme Court ruling a victory for open records

From News Leader: A recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling is a reaffirmation of the need for public records to remain exactly that — public — unless there is a clear and compelling reason for them to remain confidential.

The high court ruled unanimously in a case involving the Ohio Highway Patrol that the burden of proof lies with the custodian of public records, in this case the patrol, in demonstrating that any information withheld from the public is, indeed, exempt from disclosure under the Ohio Public Records Act.

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Opinion: Another week, another dustup over public records issue in Ohio

From Hudson Hub-Times: Columbus — Not too long after I started covering the Statehouse six years ago, I began keeping tabs on Ohio's Tax Credit Authority.

Each month, I look over the panel's agenda, searching for companies of local interest. Wherever one from Youngstown or Defiance or Cambridge or Wooster or other communities is up for a tax break, I try to attend.

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Destroyed records lead to damages

From Sandusky Register: In 2010, Tod Wagner sued Huron County Commissioners and the Huron County Airport Authority for what he believed were delayed responses to public records requests — and evidence that other public records had been wrongfully destroyed, according to court documents.

Wagner, whose wife Debbie Lake-Wagner, was a former airport authority board member, first submitted the records requests in October 2010.

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Airport authority will likely appeal ruling in public records case

From Norwalk Reflector: The Huron County Airport Authority board members decided Wednesday to try and take their case all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Recently, the 6th District Court of Appeals in Toledo ruled the prior airport authority was responsible for the improper and unauthorized destruction of public records at the airport.

Visit Norwalk Reflector for more.

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Audit: Tuscarawas County in compliance with Ohio Sunshine laws

From TimesReporter.com: NEW PHILADELPHIA — The Tuscarawas County commissioners, along with Tuscarawas County departments, are transparent, according to Ohio Auditor Dave Yost.

Commissioners were audited in March, along with 19 other counties and cities, for their compliance with Ohio Sunshine Laws, or public record laws.

Visit TimesReporter.com for more.

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Ohio Gov. Kasich orders tax-credit values given to companies to remain public information

From The Columbus Dispatch: Gov. John Kasich has ordered a state agency to end its new policy of keeping secret the estimated values of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of tax credits given to companies each year.

The Republican governor learned yesterday that the state’s Development Services Agency, which reports to him, recently had decided to consider the values of tax credits as “trade secrets” and would no longer release them to the public.

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Sierra Club sues for public records in NE Ohio probe of illegal dumping of fracking wastewater

From The Republic: COLUMBUS, Ohio — An environmental group seeking documents related to alleged illegal dumping of wastewater from oil and gas drilling into a northeast Ohio storm sewer is suing the state for access to the records.

The Sierra Club filed its suit Monday in the Ohio Supreme Court. The group alleges the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has not produced records responsive to a public records request sent six months ago.

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