|NMU||OHIO||Freedom of Information||Oct 17, 2002|
Resumes for school district job should be released same day
- The state high court ruled that because the requested records were not voluminous and were readily available, school officials should release them immediately when requested.
A school district should fill records requests the same day they are made, according to an Oct. 16 ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court.
The court granted This Week Worthington, a central Ohio newspaper, the right to receive public documents from the board of education, school district and superintendent in a timely manner in the future.
Candy Brooks, a reporter for the newspaper, requested resumes for finalists to fill the job of Worthington City School District treasurer.
“It was important for my readers to know in this case which candidates were interviewed for the [school district] position before the person was actually named, and not after the person was already hired,” Brooks said.”The school board had a history of dragging its feet, this was the most recent case of this and we decided to pursue them this time.”
Citing a pattern of delayed responses to the newspaper’s request for resumes, the court held that in the future, the school district was required to “provide public records on the same day that the request was received to the extent that records were readily available and not voluminous.”
In the past, the district had responded on the same day to some Public Records Act requests, according to the court.
The court also held that district’s six-day delay in releasing the resumes was unreasonable. The school district, in providing requested records on the night before the newspaper’s publication deadline, did not act in a manner that could be justified under the Ohio Public Records Act.
According to the court: “The records in this case were not voluminous and could have been made available to [the newspaper] on the same day that [its] requests were made.” As such they should have all been sent on the same day to the newspaper.
(Consumer News Service, Inc. v. Worthington City Board of Education; media counsel: John W. Zeiger, Zeiger & Carpenter L.L.P. , Columbus) — GS
© 2002 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press