Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
In two cases involving requests under the Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA), Sotomayor wrote an opinion that declined to order the release of the
requested information, explaining that she did not want to “unreasonably hamper
agencies in their decision-making.” Thus, in Tigue v. DOJ, 312 F.3d 70 (2d
Cir. 2002), the panel denied a tax attorney’s request for a memorandum written
by a Deputy U.S. Attorney outlining the office’s opinions and policies regarding
tax investigations, notwithstanding that the memorandum had been cited in a
publicly released report. And in Wood v. FBI, 432 F.3d 78 (2d Cir.
2005), while acknowledging that FOIA exemptions should be construed “narrowly,
resolving all doubts in favor of disclosure,” her opinion denied a reporter’s
request for an FBI memorandum regarding local FBI agents accused of lying.
She reasoned that the “unwarranted invasion of privacy” for the individuals
whose names would be released outweighed the public interest in disclosing a
government employee’s identity.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
By the way, the Times found 23 incidents of reprimands since January 2008 in an agency of over 1,100 people. That's not bad. But that's the point--the news (the good, the bad, or the ugly) can only come out because of public records.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The editorial points out that perhaps the lawyer's hardline approach was dictated by the client, the city.
But whether it was the lawyer or the city (or both), the fact is that when government is confronted with a choice of (1) following the law when it doesn't want to (by turning over embarassing documents) or (2) paying a bunch of money, it comes down to three letters: OPM. As in "Other People's Money." Why would a government agency follow the law when it can fight those pesky citizens endlessly with ... OPM. And then, if the citizens gets lucky and wins in court, pay a judgment with ... OPM.
It only seems to matter when there isn't enough OPM to save the town from bankruptcy. Then it's a "crisis."
Here's a previous post on all the reasons government--and their lawyers--have to roll the dice and not follow the law in open-government matters.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The law allows a local government to do so by passing a resolution proclaiming that such an index would be "unduly burdensome."
Monday, May 11, 2009
However, the Obama administration is still withholding public records about which corporations are receiving bailout money. So the release of records that embarrass the previous administration is occurring, but releases about the current administration's actions seem to be less forthcoming.
Friday, May 8, 2009
That appears to be what the Yakima City Council is doing according to this story in the Yakima Herald-Republic.
This came to light because the newspaper obtained city council members' emails through the Public Records Act.
NOTE: The story quotes Greg Overstreet of Allied Law Group. Also note that Allied Law Group represents the Yakima Herald-Republic.
NOTE: Allied Law Group represents the Yakima Herald-Republic in this case so we won't comment on it on og-blog.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Maybe this will deter other local governments from violating the Public Records Act.