For 11 months, LePage administration dodges public records request for travel receipts
In 2017, the Portland Press Herald submitted a FOAA request to Governor Paul LePage's office for public records of travel costs by the governor and his staff. Since the acknowledgement of the original request, the newspaper has been directed to contact multiple offices for fulfillment of the request. Sigmund Schutz said that long delays like this limit the public's ability to react or respond.
"Sigmund Schutz, an attorney with the firm Preti Flaherty whose clients include the Press Herald, said the delay in the request for the travel records violates the principles of transparent and open government that are the basis of Maine’s FOAA.
“It’s a lack of either respect for it, understanding of it or it’s an intention to hide from the public and do as much as possible in secret for as long as possible,” Schutz said, “and make it as hard as possible for the people to find out what’s going on.”
He noted that long delays also limit the public’s ability to react or respond in the formation of public policy."