Transparency News 3/4/19



March 4, 2019


Eventbrite - ACCESS 2019: VCOG's Open Government Conference
April 11 | Hampton University

state & local news stories




At the end of a budget discussion, half of Norfolk’s school board grabbed their belongings and walked out, not unlike at the end of every meeting. Staff from the district’s public access television channel swooped in and grabbed mics at members’ seats around the oval table. Without a word, the blue light signifying the meeting’s live stream went dark — cut, staff said, at the chairwoman’s direction. But the board’s meetings weren’t over. After the room cleared, board member Tanya Bhasin called to order the special meeting that she, Rodney Jordan and Christine Smith gave notice of last week. Citing a provision in the board’s policies that allow any two members to call a meeting to discuss any topic, the three called this one to discuss violations of the board’s practices.
The Virginian-Pilot

Charlottesville elected officials, department heads and support staff spent more than $74,000 on city-issued credit cards in 2018. The purchases include $4,000 for a trip to a conference in Florida, an office refrigerator and a pair of shoes. Department heads spent $20,957 last year, according to information obtained through the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
Daily Progress


stories of national interest

A bill before the Connecticut legislature’s judiciary committee would have kept the writings and journals of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza secret forever by adding a new law that would seal from public view any property seized by search warrant where an arrest never occurs. The bill reads “property seized in connection with a criminal arrest or seized pursuant to a search warrant without an arrest shall not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, unless such property is filed in connection with, or introduced into evidence at a criminal, civil or administration proceeding in the Superior Court.”
Hartford Courant

A federal grand jury has issued a subpoena for documents relating to D.C. Council member Jack Evans and legislation he promoted in 2016 that would have benefited a digital sign company, Digi Outdoor Media. The subpoena, obtained by The Washington Post through a Freedom of Information Act request, provides the first public confirmation that the city’s longest-serving council member has been under the scrutiny of federal law enforcement officials.
The Washington Post