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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Roanoke Times files second open records suit of the month

After the city of Radford, Va., heavily redacted parts of FOIA requests related to an internal city investigation of a harassment complaint, The Roanoke Times filed suit. Earlier this month, the newspaper challenged the sheriff's office policy of withholding photos of inmates released on bond.

The Roanoke Times filed suit Monday against the city of Radford over the city's decision to withhold portions of documents the newspaper sought under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

The lawsuit -- technically called a "writ of mandamus" -- centers around two FOIA requests filed with Radford officials in August and September by Roanoke Times reporter Tim Thornton. Among other things, Thornton asked the city to provide him copies of any other FOIA requests the city received between June 15 and Sept. 18.

In response to Thornton's requests, City Attorney Jim Guynn provided heavily redacted copies of two FOIA requests, erasing names and other pertinent information and in one case excluding two pages of a two-and-a-half-page document.

More here.

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