Writer sues Cabell officials over FOIA request

HUNTINGTON -- After not being able to obtain information, a Putnam County freelance legal researcher and writer is suing Cabell County EMS and the Cabell County Commission under the Freedom of Information Act. On Oct. 21, 2009, Jay Lawrence Smith requested to be provided with the terms of a lawsuit involving the deaths of Kristy M. Crawford and her infant son, Jayden D. Crawford, according to a complaint filed Jan. 4 in Cabell Circuit Court. Smith claims he made the request to Gordon Merry, Director of Cabell County EMS, and Stephen Zoeller, Manger of the Cabell County Commission, but that neither with provide him with the information. The information Smith requested falls within the definition of a public record, according to the suit. Smith does freelance writing for The West Virginia Record. Smith is seeking for the court to grant him declaratory or injunctive relief directing the defendants to provide him the requested information or to enjoin them from withholding the same. He is being represented by Richard A. Robb. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David M. Pancake. Cabell Circuit Court case number: 10-C-0001

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