We love to see Sunshine Week and FOI in action! Below are some success stories we’ve received that we’d love to share with you.
Ken Perkins filed a successful lawsuit against the Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority (TCEDA) using the California Public Records Act (PRA) laws. According to this Union Democrat article, he and his lawyer won a major “sunshine” lawsuit against a governmental organization that would not comply with my request for public documents. As a result of his lawsuit, The Union Democrat, using their own PRA requests, discovered that this organization was misusing public funds. As a result, the Board of Supervisors voted 5:0 to dissolve TCEDA and the City of Sonora voted 4:0 to dissolve it as well. This was a great success for sunshine laws. The lawsuit was filed on June 11, 2018, the organization was dissolved less than one year later. The Union Democrat published many articles about their efforts to shine a light on governmental incompetence.
Teachers win in Alabama Supreme Court, insurance premium refunds coming by Trisha Powell Crain, Alabama News
“The Alabama Supreme Court today ruled that public officials must conduct the public’s business in public.
The Court ruling addressed attempted loopholes, affirming that the Open Meetings Act does not allow public officials to meet in private for “training” when they that training is just a presentation from their staff.
The Court agreed with the Alabama Education Association that the state’s education employee insurance board, known as PEEHIP, violated the Alabama Open Meetings Act in 2016 when it met behind closed doors to discuss a premium increase for teachers and other education employees.”
These pieces by Alex MacLean, The Union Democrat: