A report Thursday by Attorney General Chris Koster concluded the agency didn't violate Missouri's open records law. Koster says that's because no one had sought the data in a form the department should have interpreted as a Sunshine Law request.
Naturally, DNR officials were pleased with the ruling, as evidenced by a news release issued this afternoon:
Department of Natural Resources Director Mark N. Templeton today released the following statement on the findings of Attorney General Chris Koster concerning the Department’s handling of Sunshine law requests:
“Today Attorney General Chris Koster’s investigation found that the Department of Natural Resources did not violate Missouri’s Sunshine Law in its handling of requests for data related to water quality at the Lake of the Ozarks.
“As I have stated previously, I believe that the Department should have acted more quickly in this case to inform the public of water quality issues at the Lake of the Ozarks. We plan to review thoroughly the Attorney General’s findings and to implement any suggestions within it that will strengthen our current policies.
“I am committed to making this department serve all Missouri citizens by preserving and protecting our natural resources.”
No matter how the attorney general ruled, it is obvious this matter is not finished yet.