April 6, 2009

County fined $145,000 for not disclosing records

A victory for open-government activists out of Washington state this time.

A judge fined Mason County, WA $145,000 for withholding information requested by Tahuya resident Harold Carey. Included in the judge's ruling is a $100 daily fine, the maximum allowed by law, as long as the county's not in compliance.

Carey requested two documents "related to a highway-corrector project and sewer systems." After a fifth email went unanswered from the county, he decided to sue.

Public-records officer, Becky Rogers, claimed she never saw the emails because "Carey's first e-mail request was included in a large group of spam e-mail she moved into the junk file, blocking future e-mails from the same addresses to prevent them from clogging her inbox." That's right folks, faulty spam filtering just cost Mason County $145,000+.

(Thanks Liberty Live)