Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Newspaper charged $10 for FOIA Denial Letter

Now THAT is govt arrogance...charge someone a fee to deny an open records request!


CORUNNA - Shiawassee County Sheriff Jon Wilson may have violated Michigan's Freedom of Information Act when he charged The Argus-Press $10 for a one-page FOIA request denial.

A Freedom of Information Act request can be made by anyone to obtain information from public agencies.

The Argus-Press requested information regarding the Law Enforcement Information Network rights of former Corunna Police Officer Angelo Panos. The sheriff's department keeps record of who has LEIN rights within the county.

In Wilson's Aug. 18, two-paragraph denial, he stated, “...internal labor issues are not subject to FOIA. I have no knowledge concerning the details of Mr. Panos' employment issues.”

Wilson sent a letter to Panos Aug. 18 detailing Panos' employment issues.

“Chief (Kim) Williams called Lt. (Mike) Ash and advised that you were no longer employed with the City of Corunna,” the letter to Panos reads. “At that time, Lt. Ash requested (Central) Dispatch to remove your LEIN rights.”

Wilson also sent The Argus-Press an invoice for $10 for the FOIA denial.