Attorney General

Attorney General Opinion 20-036

The Suffolk City School Board policy, which limits board members' abilitty to seek records under FOIA, "should not impede access to public records by citizens of the Commonwelath."

Attorney General Opinion 20-24

On May 6, 2020, the Attorney General said that the amendments to the budget adopted by the General Assembly and signed by the governor in April 2020 would allow the General Assembly to meet remotely during a time of declared emergency, provided the bodies can meet the conditions offered in the amendments, including that the emergency makes meeting in person "impracticable or unsafe," and (among other things) providing minutes and making sure the public has electronic acess to the proceedings

Attorney General Opinion, 3/20/20

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Attorney General issued this opinion on the meetings of local and state government boards and whether/when they can meet electronically, without a quorum physically present at one site.

Attorney General opinion 19-023

The Tourism Council of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance is a public body subject to FOIA.

Attorney General Opinion A6-046 2016

Section 24.2-107 of the Code of Virginia requires local electoral boards to post on an official website whatever kinds of minutes they keep, including both draft and final minutes.

AG letter 05-27-2016

Informal opinion from the AG's office (authored by Opinions Counsel Tim Oksman) says that locally filed conflicts of interest forms cannot be redacted in response to a FOIA request.

Attorney General Opinion 15-020_Morris

A blanket prohibition against public comment at public meetings on "specific personnel or student concerns" and speech identifying school officials or employees violates free speech principles, as does a prohibition against all "personal attacks."

Attorney General Opinion 2015-027

The Attorney General concluded on Sept. 4, 2015, that the Suffolk Wetlands Board does not have to permit public comment during meetings where public comment is not statutorily required. However, "because of the overarching importance of open government and free discussion with citizens," the AG says that "the Board may from time to time choose to permit public comment when public comment is not required."

Attorney General Opinion 14-063

"For the foregoing reasons, it is my opinion that local law enforcement agencies must disclose adult arrestee photographs pursuant to a valid FOIA request if they are contained in a database maintained by the local law enforcement agency, regardless of whether the defendant is still incarcerated or has been released, unless disclosing them will jeopardize a felony investigation. However, photographs may not be drawn from the Central Criminal Records Exchange for disclosure at any time to comply with a FOIA request.""For the foregoing reasons, it is my opinion that local law enforcement agencies must disclose adult arrestee photographs pursuant to a valid FOIA request if they are contained in a database maintained by the local law enforcement agency, regardless of whether the defendant is still incarcerated or has been released, unless disclosing them will jeopardize a felony investigation. However, photographs may not be drawn from the Central Criminal Records Exchange for disclosure at any time to comply with a FOIA request."

Attorney General Opinion Sept 27 2013

A public official's constituent newsletter may or may not be a public record; it depends on the content and use of the newsletter. However, if you assume the newsletter is a public record, the email distribution list used to send the newsletter is would not be exempt from disclosure.

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