Appeals Court hands journalists big Freedom of Information Act win for gun data access

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals says federal authorities must hand over database records just as if they were paper records in a file cabinet, in a case launched by five media outlets, Harvard Law’s Cyberlaw Clinic, and 16 data journalists, including Eye on Ohio. Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw wrote in a ruling released…


Record-Courier Editorial: New search for Kent State president must be public

The looming retirement of Kent State University President Beverly Warren impacts many people in many different ways.  Students wonder if their chosen school’s next leader will be as focused on their needs. Administrators surely are curious to see how well they mesh with the new president’s administrative style and priorities. And Kent community leaders and…


Ohio: Dozens of area public agencies cited for open records violations

Thirty-two area public agencies were among 357 across the state issued citations last year for not fully complying with Ohio’s public records laws, according to the state auditor’s office.

Some had up to four citations, including the Springfield Academy of Excellence, which was shut down by the state in 2015 for other issues. Other entities with more than one citation include the Butler County Agricultural Society and village of Harveysburg.


Why open government advocates are feeling good about the news from Ohio

Here comes the sun, Here comes the sun, and I say, It’s all right. George Harrison could have written those words about Ohio in recent weeks, as a pair of legal developments have called attention to freedom-of-information issues in the Buckeye State and promise to make state and local government more open.

As one of my friends in the legal world there put it, “Not sure who flipped the switch, but it feels like Sunshine Week … right now.”


Editorial: Ohio open records bill is a winner

An open government is a more honest and efficient government. But Ohioans often face unnecessary delays and obstacles when they ask for records that document what government is up to — either because public officials don’t know open-records laws, misinterpret them or purposely stall to cover up misdeeds.

Unless a citizen has tens of thousands of dollars and years to spend on a court lawsuit, he’s out of luck. Crooked or obstinate government officials know this, and use it to exploit the law.


Ohio Supreme Court to weigh in on public records debate

The Ohio Supreme Court is deciding whether police departments can shield the complete files of a long-closed criminal case until all chance of appeals are exhausted, usually because the defendant is dead.

A public records lawsuit contends that the position taken by the Columbus Police Department and backed by the local prosecutor is part of a trend around the state of agencies refusing to release such records.