PUBLIC RECORDS KEPT PRIVATE IN NEVADA
Last October, we wrote a column for Route Fifty in which we quoted David Cuillier, director of the Brechner Freedom of Information Project at the University of Florida as saying that “records that are supposed to be made publicly available has been “deteriorating rapidly.”
Since then, we’ve been taking note of instances in which this phenomenon has evidenced itself, and a particularly egregious case was publicized last week in an article in the Nevada Independent.
Here are the details, as the Independent told it:
“More than 160 days after The Nevada Independent submitted a request for a copy of Attorney General Aaron Ford’s calendar, Ford’s office has failed to provide the records, even as staff for the state’s other five top elected officials fulfilled identical requests in 33 days or less.
“Ford’s office has instead pushed back its expected response time on three occasions, most recently to Feb. 2 — 191 days after the records request was filed — citing a high volume of requests, rigorous attention to detail surrounding the records, requirements to have at least two attorneys review materials and processes to ensure that “privileged information,” which is legally protected, does not accidentally reach the public:
It would appear – though the AG never explicitly made this claim -- that this office feels a greater need for security than the other officials who answered on a reasonable timetable, including, the controller, the secretary of state, the lieutenant governor, the governor, and the treasurer.
There’s no reason to believe, based on the newspaper’s coverage, that the AG has something to hide. But reasonable security aside, it’s difficult to fathom why it should take 191 days to deliver documents the creation of which was, after, all paid for by Nevada taxpayers.
Let’s see whether the information appears on February 2nd. We’ll keep you posted.
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