The ever popular “enemies” exemption

Apparently the city council of Lawrence MA is under the misconception that there is an exemption within the Massachusetts Public Record Act that allows for the prevention of the release of documents to “enemies” of the city. The city recently cited this search for enemies as a reasoning for its delayed response to the Boston Herald’s request for city payroll documents. The request took almost two months, well past the 10 day time period established by Massachusetts law, especially for payroll records which are clearly public records. In response to questions from the Boston Herald about the lengthy response time City Attorney Charles D. Boddy Jr. assured the Herald that the city has “a lot of enemies” and that he had to insure that the records weren’t going to enemies of the city. The current law does not place any restrictions on the use of records, nor does it require any statement of purpose. Hopefully the Massachusetts Attorney General catches wind of this and corrects the cities clear misconceptions about public records laws. To read the full story from the Boston Herald, see: “City blames delay of records release on ‘enemies’”, 5/18/2010.

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One response to “The ever popular “enemies” exemption

  1. Pingback: Texas city plays musical records to evade the FOIA law « Open Records

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