Stonewalling via script

I came across one of the most interesting video recordings of an outrageous stonewalling I have encountered in my work on public records and wanted to share it with everyone. In the video, whose link appeared in a news story by the Mercury News of San Jose CA, three citizens attempt to gain access to public records, namely building permits in digital form. The only response the city manager makes is to repeatedly read from a script stating that city policy would not allow the citizens access to the computers and that it was not the city’s policy to train employees on antiquated software. This of course begs the question why there records are being stored in an inaccessible location.

However, that was not the end of it. As the citizens began citing the open records act to the official, all he could do was stand there silently and ignore their comments. In addition, when confronted with the question of whether or not a city official, apparently known to be able to access the records by the citizens, could in fact access the records the city official instead of lying, opted to refuse to respond to their question, instead asking them if he could help with anything else. We wish the trio of citizens the best of luck in their lawsuit and thank them for their good work!

To see the full 8 minute video, Click Here!

~Joshua Meyer
Editor of WikiFOIA
joshualmeyer@wikifoia.org

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