From The Toledo Blade

Somewhere in the widening chasm between the Bell administration and Toledo Councilman D. Michael Collins, emails and other public records about Navy Week events this past summer were either lost, forgotten, or withheld.

Mr. Collins, who is known to hammer Mayor Mike Bell’s office with public-records requests, accused the administration of withholding copies of invoices, checks, and emails concerning the weeklong event that attracted nearly 33,000 people to the downtown and East Toledo riverfronts.

“I think they know they got caught,” Mr. Collins said Wednesday after calling on officials to explain why they had withheld records.

Jen Sorgenfrei, Mayor Bell’s spokesman, said nothing was withheld.

“In compliance with Ohio public records law, we made a good faith effort to comply with the public-records request Mr. Collins made to our office,” Ms. Sorgenfrei said. “No documents were intentionally withheld that would have been responsive to his request.”

Mr. Collins did not accept that explanation.

“The fact is a good faith effort is not acceptable,” he said. “The law requires all of the records as defined in my request, and the records that were not provided based upon my request does not excuse away the unlawful actions of the Bell administration.”

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