R.I. AG settles with superintendent's office over public records violation

By Bryan Cohen | Nov 8, 2013

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Legal Newsline) -- Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said Thursday his office has reached a settlement with the Woonsocket Superintendent's Office to resolve allegations the office violated the state's Access to Public Records Act.

Kilmartin's office filed a lawsuit against the the superintendent's office in October alleging it knowingly and willfully violated APRA by failing to respond to an APRA request within the required timeframe.

APRA gives public bodies 10 business days to respond to a request for documents. With good cause, the public body may extend the time period an additional 20 business days, for a total of 30 business days.

In December, Cynthia Boss made an APRA request to the office for certain documents. While the office legally extended the time to respond to the request by 20 additional business days, it allegedly failed to meet the new deadline of Jan. 15.

The office allegedly did not respond to the request until March 7, when it responded to Kilmartin's office regarding the APRA complaint.

The Attorney General's Office released a supplemental finding wherein it determined there was significant evidence to conclude the office knowingly and willfully violated APRA.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Woonsocket Superintendent's Office will pay a $1,000 fine to resolve the allegations.

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