Three of my four public records requests sent to Governor Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein will be turning one year old next month.
Here are some details.
While acting as Managing Editor for American Lens News, I filed four Freedom of Information Act requests with Cooper’s office on April 19th, 2017.
Two of the four received an acknowledgment of receipt. The other two did not.
All four were sent both by email and by certified mail. All four emails were tagged with a read receipt and were read by at least one staffer within days of being sent on April 19th, 2017.
One has had a response come back on November 13th, 2017. The materials produced were incomplete, lacked an index of redactions and did not include the requested text messages. We asked about the text messages and were told that no text messages were included because none met our criteria.
One request was rejected and we had to refile it with the Attorney General’s office. They have not acknowledged receipt. This redirected request is a case study in government bureaucracy as it took the Governor’s office 9 months to tell us that the records we sought were no longer residing with them.
I’ve emailed for a status update a few times. Only one person has ever responded to me and they were dealing with the one FOIA I’ve already received a response to.
Similarly, when I was with American Lens News, whenever I requested comment from the Governor’s office, my emails went unresponded to.
I even emailed asking to be put on the media press release list and there was zero reply from Cooper’s office. ZERO.
Ready for the punchline?
Earlier this month I thought April Fool’s had come early.
The Cooper administration is seeking comments on Records Request rules.