Penn State alum starts fund for open records fight

From The Kansas City Star: STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — A Penn State alumnus is organizing a drive to fund his legal efforts to obtain records pertaining to the school’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child-sex scandal, and to make the school more transparent and subject to open records laws in the future.

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Pa. open records law faces legislative changes

From NBC Philadelphia: Right-to-know requests from a private citizen recently uncovered an alarming lack of accountability and oversight in the finances of the Oley Valley School District.

Among the findings were vague bookkeeping methods, unchecked lines of credit at area stores without district officials’ knowledge and bills for meals at upscale restaurants not being filed properly.

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Pa. state universities continue fight against more transparency

From The Mercury: The four biggest taxpayer-funded universities in Pennsylvania continue to push back against proposed legislation that would give taxpayers to the right to know how hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year.

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Penn State, other state-related schools say Pa. shouldn’t alter status under Right-to-Know Law

From The Republic: HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — Lawyers for Penn State and Pennsylvania’s three other “state-related” universities said Monday they should not be fully covered by the state Right-to-Know Law, as lawmakers revisited a previously settled question reignited by the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case.

The attorneys said during a four-hour Capitol hearing on proposed changes to the state’s main open-records law that it should not apply to them as it does to the 14 state-owned schools in the State System of Higher Education.

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Requests from inmates overwhelm Pa. open records system

From NewsWorks.org: Proposed revisions to Pennsylvania’s open records law appear to require more fine-tuning as lawmakers attempt to address a surging number of requests from prison inmates.

State prisoners are among the most frequent filers when it comes to seeking documents under the state’s open records law with the number of requests rising steadily since 2009. Proposed legislation calls for limiting the scope of those requests.

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Daily Local News files Right-to-Know appeal

From Daily Local News: The Daily Local News filed an appeal with the state’s Office of Open Records on Friday regarding three Right-to-Know requests for public documents denied by the Coatesville Area School District.

Requests were made for numbers of all district-issued cell phones and the names of employees associated with those numbers; names, job titles, lengths of stay and salaries for three specific school district employees; and names, job titles, lengths of stay and salaries of all employees in the school district.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for October 4, 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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Penn. state police take open-records dispute to court

From TimesOnline.com: HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania State Police are going to court to fight a state lawmaker’s open-records request.

State Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-32, South Union Township, has been seeking the number of troopers assigned to the Uniontown station through the state’s right-to-know law since early June. The lawmaker is concerned the trooper level there is too low, and he wants to use the information to push for more police funding.

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Trib wins appeal to open records in settlement with former county inmate

From Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:  The county must obtain and release the settlement between a nonprofit that provides medical services at the Allegheny County Jail and a former inmate because the county created, funds and shares offices with the organization, the state Office of Open Records ruled Monday in response to an appeal filed by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

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County denies release of controller emails

From Citizens’ Voice:  Luzerne County can conceal Controller Walter L. Griffith Jr.’s emails because of his arrest on felony electronic-surveillance charges and the lawsuit alleging he violated the state’s wiretap law, the county claimed in denials to open-records requests.

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