Skip to content

Faizer v. Tennessee Valley Authority

Post categories

  1. Freedom of Information

Case Number: 3:24-cv-00190

Court: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee

Client: Melanie Faizer

Complaint Filed: April 25, 2024

Background: In April 2023, public radio journalist Melanie Faizer filed a federal Freedom of Information Act request seeking records from the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federally owned agency that provides electricity to power companies serving about 10 million people in the Tennessee Valley region. Faizer specifically requested contracts the TVA entered with a cryptocurrency mining company in Tennessee, as well as email communications between the company and the agency. 

Faizer sought the information as part of an effort to learn more about economic incentives the TVA may have offered to the company and whether they have resulted in increased energy prices, strain on the electricity grid, and quality of life disruptions that members of the public have experienced in recent years.

More than a year later, the TVA has turned over only redacted versions of records in response to Faizer’s request and administrative appeals. The TVA has argued that much of the requested information is protected from public disclosure, citing FOIA exemptions that shield trade secrets, inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums, and personnel files.

On behalf of Faizer, Paul McAdoo, the Reporters Committee’s Local Legal Initiative attorney for Tennessee, filed this federal lawsuit alleging that the TVA violated FOIA by unlawfully withholding agency records. The complaint claims that the TVA failed to properly justify its withholdings and asks the court to order the agency to produce the requested records without redactions.

Related: In 2022, McAdoo sued the TVA on behalf of journalist Marc Perrusquia for salary information about the agency’s four regional vice presidents. The lawsuit ultimately resulted in the disclosure of the requested records after the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee ruled in the journalist’s favor


2024-04-25: Complaint

2024-04-25: Exhibit A

2024-04-25: Exhibit B

2024-04-25: Exhibit C

2024-04-25: Exhibit D

2024-04-25: Exhibit E

2024-04-25: Exhibit F

2024-04-25: Exhibit G

2024-04-25: Exhibit H

Stay informed by signing up for our mailing list

Keep up with our work by signing up to receive our monthly newsletter. We'll send you updates about the cases we're doing with journalists, news organizations, and documentary filmmakers working to keep you informed.