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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.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Footage of governor's office entrance denied in Sunshine request

Missouri Capitol Police have denied the News-Leader's request for video footage from cameras aimed at public entrances to the governor's office in the state Capitol. They cited an exemption passed after the 2001 terrorist attacks. "More specifically, showing areas which are covered by our cameras would reveal areas, (if any) which may be blind spots, thus compromising security at the Missouri Capitol," Capitol Police Capt. Paul Minze wrote in a July 31 response letter. The News-Leader submitted a formal appeal, which is pending. The newspaper is trying to verify whether a meeting between DNR Deputy Director Joe Bindbeutel and the governor took place. E-mails indicate it did, but the governor's office denied that such a meeting -- to discuss the high levels of E. coli in Lake of the Ozarks -- took place.
Missouri Capitol Police have cited a post-Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism exemption in the state's open records law in denying the News-Leader access to surveillance tape footage of the entrances of the governor's office.

Under a Sunshine Law request for public records, the newspaper sought to inspect archived video footage during various dates in June from cameras aimed at two public entrances in the governor's second floor office in the state Capitol in Jefferson City.

The News-Leader is seeking access to the video as part of its ongoing investigation into what role -- if any -- Nixon's office played in the Department of Natural Resources withholding a report for four weeks in June showing dangerously high levels of E. coli in Lake of the Ozarks.
More here.


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