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D.C. body-cam access aired on Newseum TV

D.C. is at forefront of national debate over need to protect public access with sensitivity to crime victims' privacy concerns.

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Coalition updates nationwide body cam access report

Find out how states, cities are addressing thorny issues of collection, retention and public access.

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Coalition's first amicus brief tests Council exemption claim

Superior Court ruling would create 'FOIA black hole' from which Council records might never escape.

Posted on Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 11:09pm

The D.C. Council has wrapped up the Fiscal Year 2020 budget but held an eight-hour hearing June 26 on process details – how to allocate and track education dollars flowing to schools in the traditional system, especially special funds intended to help the neediest students, that the D.C. Auditor reported recently had likely been misspent for years.

In truth, both murky budgeting and monkeyshines with “at risk” funds are not exactly news, and Education Committee chairman David Grosso (Ind.-At large) tried unsuccessfully to limit testimony to two bills to correct those problems.     

The truly big news was the fierce testimony of witness after witness asking for more transparency at the school level in the charter sector.

The Coalition has urged this before without success, against opponents arguing it's enough that the Public Charter School Board is subject to open meetings and open records laws and the 123 schools operated by 66 nonprofits should be left alone to focus on teaching and learning.

Posted on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 2:11am

Are records of a public police discipline hearing, including the transcript and exhibits, to be locked away afterwards as though it never happened?

MPD in March denied such a records request by the Public Defender Service and has not responded to a decision by the mayor overruling that denial. Now the case has landed in Superior Court.

Police department misconduct terminations, as proposed in this case, are rare. Public appeal hearings airing the details are even more unusual. But this one last September was beyond rare for several reasons, according to press reports (see ExpertPages blog and WUSA9 TV):