Transparency News 5/23/18



May 23, 2018


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state & local news stories


Where's Fat Leonard? Leonard Glenn Francis, the central player in the worst corruption scandal in Navy history, was scheduled to testify for the first time next week about his crooked dealings with dozens of Navy officers. The Navy subpoenaed the 350-pound defense contractor as the star witness at a military trial in Norfolk for a commander accused of graft. In a twist that has caught the Navy officials by surprise, it now appears Francis will not come to Norfolk after all. Federal authorities who have kept him locked up – and effectively silent – since his arrest five years ago in San Diego have told the Navy Francis does not have clearance to attend. Publicly, they will not say why, or even reveal where he is. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Marshals Service, which had been in charge of Francis's detention, said he is no longer in the agency's custody but declined to elaborate. The U.S. attorney's office in San Diego, which prosecuted Francis and persuaded him to turn state's evidence, also declined to comment.
The Virginian-Pilot

California-based Muslim Advocates wants to know if controversial national speaker John Guandolo is on the payroll of the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office, since he describes himself as a “special deputy sheriff” with the local agency in his online biography. The nonprofit legal group sent a Freedom of Information Act request via email Tuesday to Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office “FOIA Officer” Gary Close, asking to inspect public records related to the agency’s official relationship with Guandolo. The FOIA request asked Close to provide any records related to Guandolo’s appointment to the position of special deputy; associated duties and responsibilities with the title; reports or workshop materials provided to the sheriff’s office by Guandolo in his capacity as a special deputy and any payroll records related to the title, among other items.
The Free Lance-Star


stories of national interest

The Tennessee Public Records Act is adamant that public records should be available. But that doesn’t mean government entities will make them affordable. A statewide examination of 259 local government public records policies by the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government found that while almost all stated the government entity will charge for copies of public records, fewer offered the possibility of fee waivers. The state’s Office of Open Records Counsel advises government entities that if they choose to charge fees for copies of public records, they should consider waivers in certain circumstances. Its model policy includes optional language for waivers, including a waiver for records determined to be for the “public good.” However, the majority of government entities surveyed in the audit did not opt in. 
Bristol Herald Courier