Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Detroit Must Pay Freep for FOIA Violation

DETROIT - OCTOBER 28:  Former Detroit Mayor Kw...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Wayne County (Mich.) Circuit Judge Robert Colombo, Jr. has ruled for the financially strapped Gannett-owned Detroit Free Press in the Freep's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) two-year battle with the City of Detroit over the release of text messages in a scandal that sent former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to jail for 99 days and prompted his resignation.

Judge Colombo held that the Freep prevailed in about 80 percent of its requests for the release of public documents under Michigan's FOIA (Pub. Act No. 442 of 1976). Under the statute, the winning party is entitled to  reimbursement of costs and attorneys' fees.   In February 2008, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled against Mayor Kilpatrick in his effort to keep the text messages from being made public. The documents concerned a police whistleblower lawsuit against the City of Detroit

The Freep sought $666,000 in attorneys' fees and costs, but Judge Colombo rejected that number. Counsel for the daily newspaper and the city are attempting to reach a settlement figure to avoid another appearance before Judge Colombo. The victory for the newspaper comes in a year that saw steep declines in circulation and ad revenues that forced the Freep drastically to reduce home delivery and cutback its size to a mere 32 pages.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments:

Post a Comment