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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wyo. open meetings/records woes

Shawn Whitman, chief of staff for Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, said closing a meeting was "an unfortunate misunderstanding on our part of the state statute," the AP reported. A Barrasso staffer told reporters that the meeting at a restaurant was private though it was being attended by a quorum of Fremont County commissioners.
Closing a meeting to the public between staffers for Sen. John Barrasso and Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis and a quorum of Fremont Count commissioners was a mistake. That’s was Barrasso’s chief of staff Shawn Whitman said Wednesday in response to an allegation by open-government advocates that the press was illegally barred from the gathering.
More here.

Update on Wind River Indian Reservation case:

Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said he's bound by federal law to not release details on the deaths of three girls on the Wind River Indian Reservation, KVOW/KTAK reported. Wyoming Sen. Cale Case has said he's drafting legislation to make coroner records open, but McAuslan said that won't affect this case, which is governed by federal law. McAuslan said he will not violate laws and face a fine and/or jail time for releasing information.
Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said he will not risk jail time by divulging information about a federal case involving the deaths of three girls last year on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Fremont County.

His comment comes on the heels of Republican Sen. Cale Case’s recent announcement he’s drafting state legislation that would specify all coroner records be open for public review unless privileged or confidential by law.

McAuslan said Case notified him this week by email of his intentions to draft the disclosure of information bill.

More here.

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