Bill to exempt certain judicial records from FOIA withdrawn
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A controversial bill that sought to exempt administrative records of the judiciary from Virginia’s public records law has been withdrawn by its sponsor.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Stafford, moved to strike his bill from the Senate floor Wednesday.
The bill said the Supreme Court’s Office of the Executive Secretary would be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.
A district court judge last year found that the office violated FOIA by not responding to letters from a citizen who wants access to records of the office’s long-distance phone calls and expense accounts used by judges.
Advocates of open government opposed Stuart’s bill, saying it could make it impossible for the public to obtain records related to judicial contracts, criminal justice reforms or office expenditures.
Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.richmond.com