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LETTER: Taxpayers get stiffed by Metro over public records

I read your recent article regarding the Review-Journal’s settlement with the Metropolitan Police Department. Metro will be required to pay the newspaper a bit more than $600,000 for refusing to provide information in violation of Nevada’s public records law.

I strongly support news agencies in their efforts to obtain information and provide it to the public. The law enforces the public’s right to know what our government agencies are doing, even if (or because) such reporting reveals facts that embarrass the specific agency or leaders. The local newspapers provide an important service to the community in exposing wrongdoing.

May I note, however, that I and my fellow citizens will be paying for the $600,000 judgment.

Why shouldn’t the people who refused or stifled the records request be held responsible for violating Nevada law? Why shouldn’t they receive a hefty fine or jail time? It seems to me that they accomplished what they intended: to delay access to the requested information. By doing so, they deprived me of learning about its contents. Yet, I am the one who pays.

Let’s change that law to include fines and jail time for any and all employees involved in such a violation.

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