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Brown administration still suppressing public records

Now that the primary is over, perhaps Mayor Byron Brown's attorneys will finally provide the public records that they were required under the state Freedom of Information Act to provide several months ago.

The News on Aug. 10 called the administration out for its failure to provide the requested information and we thought we had reached a deal with City Hall after a meeting ten days later. We agreed on a series of deadlines for the release of documents, the last of which was Sept. 11. 

Mind you this for records that were requested June 19. The FOI law requires release within a matter of days, weeks at the longest, in most cases. We're coming up on three months for some of the material.

Since we met, the city and its two development agencies have provided some of the requested documents.

In other instances,they have provided only a portion of what we requested. 

In other cases, we've received nothing, including material that I consider the most politically sensitive. Sure enough, we won't get it until after the primary, which I'm sure was the plan all along.

In dealing with the attorney handling this portion of the request, it became clear to me that the administration did not even attempt to consider the request for this sensitive material until our meeting, two months after it was filed.

Moreover, despite assurances to the contrary, the city is dragging its feet in responding to an FOI request we filed after our Aug. 20 meeting.

Perhaps the three attorneys we're dealing with have been too busy with the campaign. Between them, they made 19 contributions totaling $4,000 to Brown's political committees.

Then again, I don't think they're the cause of the delay. That would be found on the second floor of City Hall.

I wonder if the "mandate" the mayor spoke about the other night in his victory speech includes the right to continue to violate the Freedom of Information Act.


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