Monday, August 17, 2009

Koster Sunshiine Law ruling critiicized

Attorney General Chris Koster's decision last week that the Missouri Department of Natural Resouces did not violate the Open Meetings Law when it did not release reports showing e. coli infestation in the Lake of the Ozarks has freedom of informatino advocates up in arms, according to Chad Livengood's article in today's Springfield News-Leader:

The Sunshine Law was not violated because nobody invoked the act in their written and oral requests, Koster said.

Koster's conclusion has prompted criticism from open-government advocates who say the state's chief enforcer of the Sunshine Law may have just made it harder for the average person to gain access to public records.

Apparently, "you have to put the little sticker on the top that says 'Sunshine request,'" said Charles Davis, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition in Columbia. "There is absolutely no legal basis that I can see for stating that something should be ostensibly labeled with some magic label."

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