Yesterday, we received this letter from Hammond & Sills regarding our Public Records Request of last week. Presumably, they were retained by the Lincoln Parish School System to review the request.
It is unclear why the attorney who wrote the letter digressed into a dissertation on confidential issues. We have never asked about nor do we ever intend to delve into matters not deemed public as per Louisiana’s Public Records Law – RS 44:1, et seq. As we made plain in our request, all we want access to are the documents that are already provided to LPNO, The Ruston Daily Leader and the Morning Paper at the School Board Meetings.
We just want them a day or two earlier than they have been releasing them to us so we can inform the public about what their employees and representatives are up to. The Lincoln Parish Police Jury and the City of Ruston both provide their information packets and agendas several days prior to the meetings.
In the last graf of the letter, the attorney says, “Documents which are not confidential may be released to you upon request…” We take that as an agreement to provide us with what we ask for – just as the law allows. We shall see come next Monday.
We understand that this minor flap does not rise to the level of the Pentagon Papers case. But it is about to whom information gathered, published and paid for with taxpayer dollars belongs.