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Tue May 27, 2014
SUPCO To Consider Public Records Cases
The Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments this week on two cases involving media requests to law enforcement for public records.
Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports.
Governor John Kasich’s office has declined to release his public schedule, citing security concerns. The progressive blog Plunderbund, which has been critical of Governor Kasich, was curious. Editor Joe Mismas says the blog had asked the Department of Public Safety for incident reports regarding security issues in the Statehouse garage – and they’d received them. So Mismas says they asked Public Safety for incident reports that included threats against the governor – and this time they were denied, on the grounds that these are security records and therefore exempt from the public records law.
“How can a document one day be a public document just simply by calling it a security record? And if they can do this with these records, what other records can they do this with? Where is the limitation there?”
The court will also hear arguments on the Cincinnati Enquirer’s request for a recording of a call made by a 9-1-1 operator to a woman who’d called and said there’d been an accident and her husband wasn’t breathing – and hung up. When the 9-1-1 operator called back, the woman’s stepson picked up and confessed to stabbing his stepfather. The Butler County Sheriff’s office says only the call to 9-1-1 is a public record, though the operator’s call was eventually released to the media.