SC: Medical University of SC fights newspaper over information involving alleged cheating scandal

An attorney for the Medical University of South Carolina says it could cost $275,000 to search email servers in connection with an open records inquiry into allegations that two students cheated on exams.

In a letter to The Post and Courier, the university’s attorney also warned a reporter not to contact members of MUSC’s Honor Council, students or employees about university disciplinary proceedings.

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Dead men don’t tell tales; in South Carolina, neither do their blood tests

When a coroner announced earlier this year that a USC Upstate student was drunk when he crashed and killed himself and three fellow student athletes, it felt like a little bit of sanity had been restored to our state’s public records law.

After all, Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger received an opinion from the attorney general blessing his release of the information. 

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South Carolina DOT reducing open records fees

The South Carolina Department of Transportation is reducing the fees it charges for public information requests in an effort to be more transparent.

The state’s transportation agency will no longer charge for staff time in fulfilling requests that take less than two hours to complete. That includes time researching, retrieving and copying information or documents.

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South Carolina Senate panel OKs bill requiring faster FOIA responses

A South Carolina bill that would force public bodies to respond more quickly to state Freedom of Information Act requests is headed to the Senate floor after approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The 17-1 vote for a favorable report on the bill comes after years of attempts by lawmakers to reach agreement on changes to the law governing access to public records in the state.

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For South Carolina’s open-government law, a time of triumphs and setbacks

Year after year, the state’s open-records law cracks a door to the activities of government that might otherwise stay secret. Information gleaned with its help has a power to change lives for the better and make governments more accountable.

But some officials continue to ignore the S.C. Freedom of Information Act or find ways around it.

When it has worked, the law has helped expose faults in the system for investigating police shootings and lifted a veil hiding shoddy care of foster children.

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Stakes high for ignoring FOIA

Anyone with doubts about the value of open government need only look to Summerville, South Carolina, for assurance.

Because Summerville police and municipal court officials refused to release public information, citizens were unaware that a man who had been charged with rape was on bail, walking freely among them for five days.

They didn’t even know to be cautious. Continue…

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