Editor's Note

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.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Free Press FOIA request culiminates in Detroit mayor admitting he lied

The Detroit Free Press outlines the legal battles since its first Freedom of Information Act request made in October 2007 up until Thursday's confession by the Detroit mayor that he committed perjury.
On Oct. 19, 2007, the Free Press submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for all documents in the police whistle-blower settlement that cost the City of Detroit $8.4 million. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and lawyers then schemed to hide the documents and cover up lies he told under oath in the lawsuit.

But then things unraveled for the mayor: The Free Press published text messages that exposed his lies, County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged him with eight felonies, and courts ruled that the documents were, in fact, public.

On Thursday, the mayor finally acknowledged his lies, signifying a victory for freedom of the press, the Freedom of Information Act itself, the public's right to know -- and the idea that violating an oath to tell the truth carries severe consequences.
More here.

The Free Press also has an interesting article on the three laws that led to Kilpatrick's demise: the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, Whistle-blowers' Protection Act and a shield-type law for Michigan journalists.

Read more here.

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