February 19, 2009

Transparency victory in Nevada

The Las Vegas Sun reports on a victory for transparency advocates in Nevada.

A judge says a public watchdog is entitled to a year's worth of Clark County school board members' e-mails at no charge.

In an order distributed Tuesday, District Court Judge Susan Johnson ruled that the school district must first prove that individual e-mails are not public records before denying them to activist Karen Gray.

If the school district or other governing agencies were able to make public records prohibitively expensive, the whole purpose of public record laws—making records public—would be defeated.

This situation needs to be watched closely to make sure that the CCSD follows through and releases the emails.

Full disclosure: Karen Gray is a researcher for the Nevada Policy Research Institute, which hosts this blog.