Sustained Outrage

Secret meetings, April 22, 2011

This week’s edition of The State Register contains no meetings that violated the public notice requirements of West Virginia’s open meetings law.

As we’ve reminded folks before, the West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act requires agencies to send meeting notices to the Secretary of State in time for notices to appear in the State Register five days prior to a scheduled meeting. Every week, we list the agencies that didn’t comply, thanks to the Secretary of State’s office, which kindly marks those agencies with an asterisk in the list of meetings published each Friday in the Register.

Secret meetings, April 15, 2011

Today’s issue of The State Register contains two meetings that did not comply with the public notice requirements of the West Virginia open meetings law.

The agencies at issue are the Kanawha Region Health Sciences and Technology Academy and the 11th Judicial Circuit Public Defender Corp.

As we’ve reminded folks before, the West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act requires agencies to send meeting notices to the Secretary of State in time for notices to appear in the State Register five days prior to a scheduled meeting. Every week, we list the agencies that didn’t comply, thanks to the Secretary of State’s office, which kindly marks those agencies with an asterisk in the list of meetings published each Friday in the Register.

Secret meetings, April 8, 2011

There are two meetings in today’s issue of The State Register that violate the public notice requirements of West Virginia’s open meetings law.

The agencies involved?  The board of the 7th Circuit Public Defender Corp. and the WV EMS Technical Support Network Board of Directors.

As we’ve reminded folks before, the West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act requires agencies to send meeting notices to the Secretary of State in time for notices to appear in the State Register five days prior to a scheduled meeting. Every week, we list the agencies that didn’t comply, thanks to the Secretary of State’s office, which kindly marks those agencies with an asterisk in the list of meetings published each Friday in the Register.

Secret meetings, April 1, 2011

Today’s issue of The State Register contains one meeting that violated the public notice requirements of West Virginia’s open meetings law.

The agency involved? The board of Webster County Memorial Hospital.

As we’ve reminded folks before, the West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act requires agencies to send meeting notices to the Secretary of State in time for notices to appear in the State Register five days prior to a scheduled meeting. Every week, we list the agencies that didn’t comply, thanks to the Secretary of State’s office, which kindly marks those agencies with an asterisk in the list of meetings published each Friday in the Register.

Secret meetings, March 25, 2011

Today’s issue of The State Register contains no meetings that violated the public notice requirements of West Virginia’s open meetings law.

That makes two weeks in a row!

As we’ve reminded folks before, the West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act requires agencies to send meeting notices to the Secretary of State in time for notices to appear in the State Register five days prior to a scheduled meeting. Every week, we list the agencies that didn’t comply, thanks to the Secretary of State’s office, which kindly marks those agencies with an asterisk in the list of meetings published each Friday in the Register.

Secret meetings, March 18, 2011

Today’s issue of The State Register contained no meetings that violated the public notice provisions of West Virginia’s open meetings law.

As we’ve reminded folks before, the West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act requires agencies to send meeting notices to the Secretary of State in time for notices to appear in the State Register five days prior to a scheduled meeting. Every week, we list the agencies that didn’t comply, thanks to the Secretary of State’s office, which kindly marks those agencies with an asterisk in the list of meetings published each Friday in the Register.

MIC update: Industry lobby wants its say in case

Yesterday’s deadline for the court-appointed expert in the Bayer MIC case came and went, and apparently chemical engineer Sam Mannan did provide his report to the court. Bayer and the residents suing the company got copies.

But so far, U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin has not seen fit to add a copy of the report to the public file so the rest of the Kanawha Valley can see it. The judge has provided no public explanation for this decision. And the parties are concerned about not irritating the judge, so they aren’t about to release the report unless Judge Goodwin specifically authorizes them to do so.

Mannan is scheduled to testify in open court when the preliminary injunction hearing starts next Monday. Until then, it may be that the public will remain in the dark about his findings.

UPDATED: Judge Goodwin has still not made public his expert’s report on the MIC unit, but the judge did enter this order asking both sides to identify what documents in the case they want to conceal from the public, and explain why they believe those documents can be concealed.

There are two new developments in the case, though.

First, WVDEP Secretary Randy Huffman and his agency’s environmental advocate, longtime People Concerned About MIC leader Pam Nixon, have filed a motion to quash subpoenas in which the residents sought to compel them to appear and testify at the hearing.

In this motion, WVDEP general counsel Judith P. Thomas says that neither Randy nor Pam have first-hand knowledge about how their agency has responded to the U.S. Chemical Safety Board’s recommendations regarding Bayer CropScience’s Institute plant. Thomas says WVDEP put its homeland security director, Mike Dorsey, in charge of that issue, and the agency would produce Dorsey to testify at the hearing.

Second, the industry lobby group American Chemistry Council has filed this “friend of the court” brief arguing against Judge Goodwin issuing a longer-term court order blocking Bayer from resuming production of MIC.

Among other things, that group’s lawyers, Robert Hogan and Tom Heywood, throw back at Judge Goodwin the judge’s own words in tossing out of court most of a  case over DuPont Co.’s contamination of water supplies with the toxic chemical C8:

The potential effects of these chemicals on human health are of great public concern. Issues of institutional competence, however, caution against judicial involvement in regulatory affairs. Courts are designed to remediate, not regulate.

Secret meetings, March 11, 2011

Today’s issue of The State Register contains no meetings that violated the public notice provisions of West Virginia’s open meetings law.

As we’ve reminded folks before, the West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act requires agencies to send meeting notices to the Secretary of State in time for notices to appear in the State Register five days prior to a scheduled meeting. Every week, we list the agencies that didn’t comply, thanks to the Secretary of State’s office, which kindly marks those agencies with an asterisk in the list of meetings published each Friday in the Register.

Secret meetings, March 4, 2011

Today’s issue of The State Register contains one meeting that violated the public notice requirements of the West Virginia open meetings law.

The agency? The Regional Intergovernmental Council’s Transportation Technical Advisory Committee.

As we’ve reminded folks before, the West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act requires agencies to send meeting notices to the Secretary of State in time for notices to appear in the State Register five days prior to a scheduled meeting. Every week, we list the agencies that didn’t comply, thanks to the Secretary of State’s office, which kindly marks those agencies with an asterisk in the list of meetings published each Friday in the Register.

This just in from The Associated Press:

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that corporations have no right of personal privacy to prevent the disclosure of documents under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the 8-0 opinion Tuesday that reversed an appeals court ruling in favor of AT&T. The outcome was notable for its unanimity, especially in view of recent criticism from liberal interest groups that the court tilts too far in favor of business.

“The protection in FOIA against disclosure of law enforcement information on the ground that it would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy does not extend to corporations,” Roberts wrote. “We trust that AT&T will not take it personally.”

You can read the ruling here.

Perhaps the ruling will be helpful in West Virginia, where the state’s open records law has a similar personal privacy exemption to that contained in the federal law.