NPRI calls for putting teeth into public records law

“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.

They have no skin in the game. They just hire expensive lawyers at taxpayer expense to fight the request.

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.

 

 

8 comments on “NPRI calls for putting teeth into public records law

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    The “public servants” don’t want the public they serve to find out how incompetent and expensive they are!

  2. Thus as it ever was.

  3. Rincon says:

    How many Emails were requested? It is likely that there indeed is confidential information, and a request of say, 100,000 Emails would be very expensive to redact. On the other hand, the explanation by the school district as recorded here is insufficient.

    That being said, I believe our definition of what needs to be confidential is way too “liberal”.
    Depending on what the courts say, one good answer for the future would be to require, as a condition of employment, all government employees (maybe private companies too) to give permission to have all internal Emails released. If they want privacy, make it a phone call.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Frivolous lawsuit.

    Our tax dollars go to pay for these.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mabe NPRI could actually DO SOMETHING for the country, and for the citizens of Nevada (heck maybe the same attorney that represented the RJ in their quest to obtain information regarding the federal governments actions in the Bundy case could join since, as Thomas suggested, “the public has a right to know”. Even Nevada’s own bastard, well known for taking on issues that relate far more to national interests than they do Nevada’s might file a lawsuit?)

    And Thomas I’m a little surprised that you, a fellow journalist with typically strident opinions about government secrecy in cases like this hasn’t even mentioned the administrations heinous actions here but…whatever.

    “Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Wednesday that the Trump administration is restricting access to information about a missing Saudi journalist, a move that comes as President Trump has publicly echoed denials of wrongdoing from top Saudi officials.

    Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The Washington Post that the administration had “clamped down” on sharing intelligence about Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government who has been missing for more than two weeks. ”

    https://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/411979-corker-administration-clamped-down-on-saudi-intel-cancelled

  6. Bob Coffin says:

    Current abuse of the Open Records Law by a wealthy developer will cause the Legislature to look at it, anyway. The Comstock decision from early this year is being misrepresented by lawyers to gain access to private emails sent to and received from citizens in such a way as to jeopardize their safety. It is worth you taking a look at it to see. This has nothing to do with the instant CCSD case.

  7. Steve says:

    Would that wealthy developer be actively interested in the land use issues from Bob Beers old ward?

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