White County Emails “Ready for Pickup”…Just Kidding!

I wanted to give you an update about my FOI request to the White County Judge’s office–a request that was originally made nearly 2 weeks ago.

I wrote the county attorney last Wednesday morning and quoted several sections of the FOI law to show that the county was in violation.   I also agreed to allow the county a bit more time to comply, given the volume of my request.  As I was making my way out of town for the holiday last Wednesday afternoon, I received a response from the county attorney: “Thanks.  They are working on it.”

Later that afternoon, I received this response from the judge’s office:

Mr. Horton,

Tamara Jenkins has already began to transfer e-mails onto a disc to answer your request so there will be no need for you to bring a thumb drive by our office today.  I anticipate having most of the information ready for you by early next week. There are a few e-mails that contain sensitive information that will have to be redacted before being released.  Those are e-mails containing applications from citizens for assistance for storm shelters, flood assistance from FEMA etc. containing social security numbers and such that are not to be made public.   Redacting this information may be time consuming, depending on the number of e-mails and the amount of information contained that is sensitive.  This office will supply information as efficiently as possible.

Lisa Brown

Adm. Asst.

White County Judge’s Office

Today, the county attorney emailed to tell me the requests were ready:

Mr. Horton,

Lisa tells me that she has the emails ready for you to pick up.  Her scanner was not functioning properly, so she has them available on disk and some “privacy sensitive” ones printed off.

When I went by the judge’s office to pick up the emails around 1:00 p.m. today, only the sensitive emails were available–and they were in print, not electronic format as requested (this is an FOI violation–they should’ve been made available in the format I requested).

They also tried to charge me $11 and change for the copies, even though this was also a violation of FOI law, as we discussed here last week.   I told her I was not going to pay, that they were in violation, and she let me have the documents at no charge.

Miss Brown then told me that Miss Jenkins’ computer has been taken to a local computer shop to have the emails downloaded onto a disk.  I am not sure why this is necessary, but I do trust that the county is not expecting me to foot the bill.

I will let you know if and when we receive the rest of the emails.

Nic Horton


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