Opinion: S.C. Supreme Court allows government to hide public information

If the police shoot a man, saying that he was shooting at them, but the autopsy shows the man had no gunshot residue on his hands and that he was shot in the back, don’t you think the public has a right to know about it?

If it had happened in your community, to someone you know, or within the police or sheriff’s department on which you depend, wouldn’t you want to know? Wouldn’t you want to demand further investigation? Isn’t this information crucial to making sure our government and police are acting properly?

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SLED (S.C.) keeps video of York inmate death secret

The South Carolina state Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has denied a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from NBC Charlotte for jailhouse video of the second inmate to die in the same restraint chair in the same York County Detention Center.

The WCNC-TV Investigative Team filed the FOI request seeking video depicting the last hours of the life of Joshua Grose, arrested for the murder of his mother and a neighbor woman in October.

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SC Supreme Court ruling shows weakness of open government law

The S.C. Supreme Court decided last week that government bodies don’t have to let you know what they’re planning to do. The court ruled that bodies like school boards, county councils and city councils can hold regular meetings without ever issuing an agenda, and if they do issue an agenda, they can change it on the fly and depart from it at will.

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Future court rulings should require state chambers of commerce and other groups receiving tax dollars to adhere to open-records

Hilton Head Island businessman Skip Hoagland scored big last month when a circuit court judge ruled that the Town of Hilton Head Island could not charge for the time it will take town staff to comply with a subpoena Hoagland has filed, seeking documents. The ruling means Hoagland will only have to pay the cost of copying roughly 4,800 pages of town documents he has requested, including accounting details, spending records and contract bids.

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No excuse for ignorance on public’s right to know

Some city of Beaufort officials say they will consider formal training to teach board and commission members about public-meeting and public-records law.

The need for instruction was made starkly evident when the Historic District Review Board violated the S.C. Freedom of Information Act by adjourning a recent meeting and continuing to discuss board business with a quorum present.

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