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  Category: 10001 Declaration of Policy

Attorney General Kathy Jennings


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10001-declarations

18-IB47 10/8/2018 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. David Moskowitz re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Town of Dewey Beach

Written on: October 11th, 2018 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that a meeting of the Dewey Beach Town Manager, Audit Committee chair, accountants, and auditor constituted a meeting of a public body that did not meet open meeting requirements. Petitioner further alleged that certain legal authority and the public interest in the meeting topic required the meeting to be subject to open meeting requirements. DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found. Questions of municipal law are outside the scope of FOIA.


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10001-declarations

18-IB46 10/5/2018 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Paul Reiger re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Sussex County Board of Adjustment

Written on: October 11th, 2018 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that a meeting agenda for the Sussex County Board of Adjustment did not describe an agenda item in sufficient detail. DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found.


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10001-declarations

18-IB45 10/5/2018 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Craig O’Donnell re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Town of Dewey Beach

Written on: October 5th, 2018 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the Town of Dewey Beach improperly cited the exemption for investigatory materials in denying his request for a video. DECIDED: The video is part of an investigative file. Thus the exemption was properly applied.


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10001-declarations

18-IB44 9/24/2018 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Kevin Ohlandt re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Auditor of Accounts

Written on: October 5th, 2018 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the Auditor of Accounts did not respond to his request for records within the time required by FOIA and did not respond to questions. DECIDED: AOA violated FOIA by not responding within 15 business days. However, because the documents were since provided, no remediation recommended. FOIA does not require a public body to respond to questions.


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10001-declarations

18-IB43 9/6/2018 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Melony Anderson re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Division of Revenue

Written on: September 6th, 2018 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged the Division of Revenue improperly withheld records. DECIDED: The records requested were not considered public records under FOIA since they are specifically exempted from public disclosure by 30 Del. C. § 368, which prohibits the disclosure of information contained in tax records. No FOIA violation was found.


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10001-declarations

18-IB42 8/30/2018 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Dan Kramer re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Frankford Town Council

Written on: September 6th, 2018 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that the Frankford Town Council improperly met in executive session and held a vote to fire their solicitor. DECIDED: No vote was held in executive session. Further, this Office determined that the executive session was properly held to discuss an individual’s competencies and abilities. No FOIA violation was found.


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10001-declarations

18-IB41 8/28/2018 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Craig O’Donnell and Ms. Shannon McNaught re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Dewey Beach Town Council

Written on: September 6th, 2018 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioners alleged that the Dewey Beach Town Council held a meeting that was not noticed to the public when a majority of the Town Council attended a meeting of the Audit Committee. DECIDED: Because there was no allegation that the Councilmembers discussed or deliberated public business among themselves, held a vote, or reached a consensus, their presence at another body’s meeting did not constitute a meeting of the Town Council. No FOIA violation was found.


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10001-declarations

18-IB40 8/24/2018 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Vicki Carmean, Ms. Julie Lee, and Mr. Roy Williams re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Town of Fenwick Island

Written on: September 6th, 2018 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioners alleged that the Town violated FOIA in two ways: 1) five individuals associated with the Town privately communicated about a building permit outside of a public meeting; and 2) the Building Committee improperly approved a building permit without a public meeting and vote. DECIDED: The five individuals are not a public body, and thus, their communications did not violate FOIA. The Building Committee violated FOIA by not holding a public meeting to approve the permit. It is recommended that the Building Committee conduct a public meeting to formally vote on the permit application. A supplemental opinion is to follow.


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10001-declarations

18-IB39 8/16/2018 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Sue Murphy Ogden re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Christina School District

Written on: August 17th, 2018 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that Christina School District withheld requested information. DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found, as the District asserted it did not have records meeting the parameters of the petitioner’s request and FOIA does not require a public body to create a new record.


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10001-declarations

18-IB38 8/16/2018 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Daniel Kramer re: FOIA Complaint Concerning Sussex County Council

Written on: August 17th, 2018 in 10001 Declaration of Policy

Petitioner alleged that Sussex County Council violated FOIA by not including sufficient detail in the executive session minutes or its motion to during a public meeting and by allowing a councilmember to take part in the executive session discussing the land acquisition despite recusal. DECIDED: The executive session minutes were sufficiently detailed and therefore complied with FOIA. The motion was sufficiently detailed due to the need for maintaining confidentiality of the site acquisition price. Although no violation was found, Council should have publicly disclosed the price at a later public meeting. No FOIA violation was found with regard to the councilmember’s recusal from executive session since he departed upon recognizing the need for recusal.


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