Ohio Auditor Dave Yost: Cities Disregard Open Records Law

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State Auditor Dave Yost shows open records compliance rates.(Photo: Ohio Pubilc Radio)
State Auditor Dave Yost shows open records compliance rates.(Photo: Ohio Pubilc Radio)

Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost says many Ohio cities are not obeying the spirit of the state’s open records law.  Yost’s staff in October asked for basic payroll records from 247 cities. After 10 days, more than 40% still hadn’t responded. After a month, 23% still hadn’t responded. Yost says that’s a dismal record, and it’s bad news for average citizens who might want to look at government records.

“The state’s public records law is alive, but it’s not particularly well,” said Yost.

Yost says when cities refuse to make public records available, they open themselves up to citizen lawsuits,and local taxpayers may have to pay legal fees for both sides.

It’s been more than 4 months since Yost requested the basic payroll records, and despite several phone calls and repeated requests, the auditor says 2 cities — Niles and Campbell — have never turned over the data.

Yost says  when cities refuse to make public records available, they open themselves up to citizen lawsuits,and local taxpayers may have to pay legal fees for both sides.

Comments
  • Deannameadows

    We have two lawsuits against the Trumbull County Health Dept because they do not want to comply with Ohio Sunshine Laws. What has been discovered is that they have been operating in a corrupt manner and now they are trying to backpedal to cover their tracks. See for yourself what happens when a gov’t goes rogue on its people and how the people are fighting back at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/tcsepticnews/