The liberal-leaning blog Plunderbund is pushing back against state claims that investigations of threats against Ohio Gov. John Kasich are not public records.
Plunderbund Media filed a complaint with the Ohio Supreme Court on Friday seeking the release of records it contends are being illegally withheld by Department of Public Safety Director Thomas P. Charles.
On Aug. 14, Plunderbund managing editor Joseph Mismas says he filed a public-records request seeking copies of State Highway Patrol investigative files involving threats against Kasich or his staff.
Public safety officials declined to release a word, argung the documents were exempt from release as “security records” containing information about protection of the governor, who is guarded by state troopers.
The “assessment and disposition relative to each threat … would be indicative of the relative strengths and weaknesses of a particular governor’s security position. Consequently, the release of such records would pose a significant risk, not only to Governor Kasich, but to his wife and children as well,” wrote Robin Mathews, a public-safety lawyer.
The complaint argues there is no blanket exemption blocking the release of “security records” and claims that the Department of Public Safety failed to consider releasing records after redacting sensitive information.
“The Ohio Supreme Court has consistently held that any exceptions to the public document act requirements should be narrowly applied. The Department of Public Safety has claimed a security exemption that is far too broad to be consistent with Ohio law on public documents,” said Victoria Ullmann, a Columbus lawyer representing Plunderbund.