Brian Keesee: Sunshine Troublemaker of the Week

Brian Keesee, of Oak Island, North Carolina is this week’s Sunshine Troublemaker of the Week.

Keesee is a building contractor. In September 2007, he asked the town for records of city staff members about a construction project.

Sunshine Troublemaker of the Week

Getting very little response from the town, on July 1, Keesee filed a lawsuit against the town, the city manager and the city clerk, saying that they purposely withheld documents and in some cases, shredded documents.

There is some evidence that town officials ordered the destruction of 310 boxes of public records the very day (September 20, 2007) that Keesee failed his North Carolina sunshine law request.

A local newspaper, the Star News Online is covering the story. My fav paragraph from their report:

Several attempts to contact Town Attorney Brian Edes were unsuccessful, and repeated messages left for him were not returned. Town officials have referred all questions regarding the lawsuit to Edes.

Mr. Keesee, welcome to the ranks of the STOTWs. You might be tearing your hair out in disbelief and frustration but (a) you’re in good company and (b) you’re doing something about it–fighting the good fight. Welcome.

(Note: North Carolina is one of seventeen states that gives no legal deadline for responding to requests. This law should be changed. Oak Island, under the existing law, still has an obligation to provide the records “as promptly as possible”)

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