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Attorney General Matt Denn


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  Archived Posts From: 2006

10001-declarations

06-IB23 – RE: Freedom of Information Complaint Against Wilmington Housing Authority

Written on: November 27th, 2006 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Complainant alleged that the Wilmington Housing Authority violated the public records requirements of FOIA when the Authority failed to disclose emails that may have been sent by its Executive Director to any employee of the Authority on specified days or during specified weeks. The Authority responded that the Authority’s email system does not store electronic messages beyond a 90-day period. Therefore, the requested documents could not be provided since the emails requested were older than 90 days. The Authority provided an affidavit from its Chief Of Information Technology for evidence of this fact. HELD: The Authority did not violate FOIA because the emails requested by Complainant do not exist.


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10001-declarations

06-IB24 – RE: Freedom of Information Complaint Against Camden-Wyoming Sewer & Water Authority

Written on: November 27th, 2006 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Complainant alleged that the Camden-Wyoming Sewer & Water Authority violated the public record requirements of FOIA when it failed to provide the “total amount of monies expended in the research, filing and pursuit” of litigation failed by the Authority against the Town of Camden. The Authority responded by providing a copy of the stipulated settlement agreement and order. The authority’s attorney also responded by noting that she did not separately bill the authority for time spent on the lawsuit and that no separate record of billing for the matter existed. HELD: The Authority did not violate FOIA because it did not have in its custody an accounting of the costs of legal counsel in the litigation, and FOIA does not require the Authority to prepare such an accounting.


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10001-declarations

06-IB24 – RE: Freedom of Information Complaint Against Camden-Wyoming Sewer & Water Authority

Written on: November 27th, 2006 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Complainant alleged that the Camden-Wyoming Sewer & Water Authority violated the public record requirements of FOIA when it failed to provide the “total amount of monies expended in the research, filing and pursuit” of litigation failed by the Authority against the Town of Camden. The Authority responded by providing a copy of the stipulated settlement agreement and order. The authority’s attorney also responded by noting that she did not separately bill the authority for time spent on the lawsuit and that no separate record of billing for the matter existed. HELD: The Authority did not violate FOIA because it did not have in its custody an accounting of the costs of legal counsel in the litigation, and FOIA does not require the Authority to prepare such an accounting.


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10001-declarations

06-IB22 – RE: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Sussex County Council

Written on: November 16th, 2006 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Complainant alleged that the Sussex County Council violated the open meeting requirements of FOIA by meeting in executive session for purposes not authorized by FOIA. HELD: (i) Council violated FOIA when it met in executive session to discuss which of two consulting firms to hire because independent contractors are not prospective employees for purposes of FOIA. Therefore the “job applicant” exemption does not apply. (ii) Council did not violate FOIA when it met in executive session to discuss prospective candidates for the positions of Director of Accounting and Budget Manager. The “job applicant” exemption applied to this discussion. Additionally, the exemption for executive session does not turn on whether the public body or another person had the authority to hire for the positions because the purpose of the exemption is to protect the individual privacy of the prospective public employee. No remediation required for first FOIA violation because the public was substantially involved in the process by which the Council awarded the contract to one of the two consultants.


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