February 9, 2004

Not Almanacs, Phone Bills

Here's a Florida news report on how journalists have found that regular citizens have a very hard time getting access to public records that ought to be accessible:

"He could have been a terrorist," Howard said. "We have to ensure the safety of children."

Howard couldn't explain how a terrorist might use his cell phone bill to harm children.

The most flimsy reasons were given for being suspicious of folks coming in to view records, and threats were even issued to discourage digging.
Roger Desjarlais, the Broward County administrator, threatened a volunteer by saying, "I can make your life very difficult."

After insisting that the volunteer give his name, Desjarlais used the Internet to identify the volunteer, find his cell phone number and call him after work hours.

Public records audit: Some records requests met with suspicion and threats

Posted by James at February 9, 2004 2:32 PM
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