“So, sue me,” seems to be the attitude of so many in Nevada government agencies when they are asked to comply with the state’s public records law.
Take, for example, Nevada Policy Research Institute’s lawsuit this week over being denied Clark County School District emails relating to a possible termination of a whistleblower who reported possible test falsification. The district claimed the emails contained confidential information and refused to release anything, even though the law clearly states:
“A governmental entity that has legal custody or control of a public book or record shall not deny a request made pursuant to subsection 1 to inspect or copy or receive a copy of a public book or record on the basis that the requested public book or record contains information that is confidential if the governmental entity can redact, delete, conceal or separate the confidential information from the information included in the public book or record that is not otherwise confidential.”
NPRI Policy Director Robert Fellner was quoted in a press release as saying, “Despite state law mandating government agencies to be fully transparent to the people they ostensibly serve, CCSD knows it can violate the law with impunity, secure in the knowledge that none of its officials will ever face any penalty for their deliberate lawbreaking.”
That is why NPRI is calling on the Nevada Legislature to impose penalties on those who defy the law. Makes sense doesn’t it?
The purpose of the public records law is so the voters can hold public officials accountable when they act in a manner not in their best interest.