Case Number: 3:22-cv-00309
Court: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee
Client: Marc Perrusquia
Complaint Filed: Sept. 7, 2022
Background: In January 2022, journalist Marc Perrusquia, director of the Institute for Public Service Reporting at the University of Memphis, submitted a federal Freedom of Information Act request to the Tennessee Valley Authority seeking salary information about the agency’s four regional vice presidents from December 2020 through January 2022. The TVA is a federally owned agency that provides electricity to power companies serving about 10 million people in the Tennessee Valley region.
The next month, agency officials denied the journalist’s request, claiming that the records were not subject to disclosure under FOIA Exemptions 5 and 6, which protect attorney-client communications, inter- and intra-agency memos, personnel information, and other records. Perrusquia filed an administrative appeal, which was denied by TVA officials in late March 2022.
On behalf of Perrusquia, RCFP Local Legal Initiative Attorney Paul McAdoo filed this FOIA lawsuit against the agency, alleging that the TVA wrongfully withheld agency records in violation of the federal public records law. Among other things, the lawsuit argues that the records are not exempt from public disclosure under the FOIA exemptions cited by the agency.
2023-09-27: Memorandum opinion and order