Gazette sues State Police superintendent over FOIA

By Kyla Asbury | Nov 22, 2010

CHARLESTON -- The Charleston Gazette is suing the State Police superintendent after it claims he refuses to comply with FOIA requests.

CHARLESTON -- The Charleston Gazette is suing the State Police superintendent after it claims he refuses to comply with FOIA requests.

On May 25, the Gazette requested copies of the quarterly reports, bi-annual reports and yearly reports for review produced by the Internal Review Board from Col. Timothy S. Pack under the Freedom of Information Act, according to a complaint filed Nov. 3 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

The Gazette claims Pack has denied its multiple requests.

The public records requested are not kept in a personal, medical or similar file and concern a matter of strong, heightened public interest because they concern a state agency's investigation of its own employees for complaints of alleged misconduct while in a position of authority, according to the suit.

The Gazette claims the requested public records concern closed investigations, therefore "there is no governmental interest in non-disclosure for the purpose of dealing with the detection and investigation of crime."

The Gazette is seeking for the court to declare the defendant's refusal unlawful; injunctive relief, enjoining the defendant from withholding the records without justification; and order the defendant to make the records available. The newspaper is being represented by Rudolph L. DiTrapano and Sean P. McGinley.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey.

Kanawha Circuit Court Case number: 10-C-1971

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