This site is a free service for communication, self-expression and freedom of speech. We believe this site increases the availability of information, encourages healthy debate, and makes possible new connections between people.
While reporting on topics, we will ask the questions some newspapers don't. We will print the questions that some newspapers won't.
All sources of information are confidential.

Email The Fact of The Matter at:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Another O.P.R.A Request Denied, Clerk Says Request Is Invalid

     Another request for public information was denied by Westfield Town Clerk Claire Gray.  The information requested is of a generic nature causing TFoTM to asks "what is the town trying to hide... again?"  The Fact of The Matter is, the Town of Westfield is hiding the truth yet again.

On Wednesday, March 16th, the following response to an "Open Public Records Request" was received from Westfield Town Clerk Claire Gray:

     The OPRA (Open Public Records Act) law is intended to provide access to government records that have been specifically identified and requested.  The requestor needs to identify the record that is being requested and the Custodian of Records needs to provide access to that specific record, unless it is exempted under the provisions of the law.
     Your request "Please provide me the date of hire of employee Claude Shaffer.  Also, provide me the date of C. Shaffer's promotion to Supervisor and his promotion to dept. head/Supt. of DPW.  Please provide me the date of hire of employee Richard Eubanks.  Please provide me the date of hire of employee Kris McAloon.  The above listed names are employees of the Town of Westfield" does not identify a record, but rather asks for information.  Therefore, your request is invalid.

     The response from the Westfield Town Clerk Claire Gray, the "Custodian of Records," is an attempt to delay or evade disclosing the information requested.

     When Claire Gray was asked what specific record should be requested, she appeared befuddled.  Shouldn't the "Custodian of Records" know where the information can be found and on what record it could be found?  The Fact of The Matter knows; we just wanted to see how "transparent" the Town Clerk would be with the request.  It turns out, the Town Clerk is following proper procedures but refuses to assist the requester in obtaining the requested information.  In other words, she will not go out of her way or beyond the scope of her duties to assist in obtaining the information requested.

     The information is of such generic nature it is only a matter of time before it is obtained.  The question remains, will it be enough time for the town to cover something up?

See for related story.

1 comment:

  1. On this one she is correct. You didn't ask for any document, you asked for an answer to a question. Had you asked for "all documents concerning the date of hire", that would probably be too vague as well. You need to ask for something specific "application for employment", ect. Sorry, but I know nothing of police procedure so I can't tell you what the name of all the records are or what you should be asking for.