The Ohio Coalition for Open Government (OCOG) is a tax-exempt 501 (c)(3) corporation established by the Ohio Newspapers Foundation in June 1992. The Coalition is operated for charitable and educational purposes by conducting and supporting activities to benefit those who seek compliance with public access laws. It is also affiliated with a national network of similar state coalitions.
The Coalition serves as a clearinghouse for media and citizen grievances that involve open meetings and open records, and offers guidance to reporters in local government situations. The activities of the Coalition include monitoring government officials for compliance, filing “amicus” briefs in lawsuits, litigation and public education.
The annual memberships to OCOG, as approved by the board, entitle a group or individual the use of the new FOI telephone hotline, handled directly by attorneys at Baker & Hostetler in Cleveland, and subscription to the newsletter.
OCOG is funded by contributions from The Ohio Newspapers Foundation and other outside sources. It’s board includes public trustees from organizations with an interest in freedom of information. The current board chair is Monica Nieporte of The Messenger, Athens. Other board members are Daniel Behrens, The Jounal-Tribune, Marysville; Dan Caterinicchia, The Ohio State University, Columbus; Edward Esposito, Rubber City Radio Group, Akron; Scott Gove, The Daily Globe, Shelby; Randy Ludlow, The Dispatch, Columbus; Keith Rathbun, The Budget, Sugarcreek
David Marburger, Baker & Hostetler, serves as legal counsel and Dennis Hetzel, ONA executive director, serves in the staff role as president.
OCOG Open Government Report
Want to become a member of OCOG?
Download an application (PDF)
Open Government Guide
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has released the latest version of its guide to open government laws in all 50 states, including Ohio. It’s easy to search and should be a great, handy reference tool for journalists. Click here for a link you can add as a bookmark in your browser. Attorneys David Marburger and Jack Blanton of Baker & Hostetler in Cleveland prepared the Ohio section.