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Pennsylvania city sues public records office, newspaper

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  1. Freedom of Information
A Pennsylvania city is suing its newspaper, a reporter at the newspaper and the state public records office that granted…

A Pennsylvania city is suing its newspaper, a reporter at the newspaper and the state public records office that granted the reporters records request, Allentown’s The Morning Call reported.

The Call‘s Jarrett Renshaw had requested the e-mail messages and schedules of Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski and other city officials under the state’s year-old Right-to-Know Law. The city said it would need nearly $900 to fulfill Renshaw’s request because it would be several thousand pages and require hand redaction.

Renshaw appealed the city’s denial to the state open records office, which decided Allentown had not proved why it needed to redact the records and even if it could, the city would need to explain why it could not redact the records electronically.

Allentown asked the office to reconsider and requested a new hearing before a different hearing officer. The city filed the lawsuit after the records agency agreed to review its decision, but did not agree to hold a new hearing or recuse the officer who presided over the initial review.