How many people does it take to satisfy a records request?

I know, Sunshine Week is over. But remember how I said pursuing a transparent government is an every day thing for us at the Trib. Well, on Thursday, I drove out to Commerce to a law enforcement task force to take a look at some documents I requested. It took four people to answer my request, and they all stared at me as I reviewed a public record’s request.

Four people. Talk about an intimidation tactic.

They wanted me to process the informatin immediately and ask any questions I had at that point. Now, I’ve got the smarts and all, but I usually like to read over the information in private, figure out whether it makes sense, talk it over with my boss, write out my questions, and then follow up with any other questions.

So when I asked if I could call the exectuive director if I had any other questions, they told me no. I have to go through a attorney. But, the attorney warned, if I had any follow up requests, I should be advised that she will notify me within the 10 days that she received my request but wouldn’t actually respond for at least five weeks because she has a trial.

Is that even legal? Arg. It took me until today to decompress.