R.I. AG says town violated public records access law

By Bryan Cohen | Sep 2, 2014


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Legal Newsline) - Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the town of Warren for allegedly violating the Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act (APRA).

Joelle Sylvia Esq., an attorney with the law firm Kelly & Mancini, made an APRA request on March 11 to the town of Warren seeking various documents. The town initially extended the time to respond to the request, but it allegedly failed to provide a response and/or the documents that were requested.

"Failure to respond to a request within the timeframe dictated by APRA is simply not acceptable," Kilmartin said. "Given the level of education and proactive outreach by my office, there is an expectation that public bodies will comply with our open government laws. As the arbiter and watchdog for open government, I will continue to hold public bodies accountable as the citizens expect and deserve."

Kilmartin's office alleged there is significant evidence to conclude that Warren knowingly and willfully violated the APRA. The maximum penalty is $2,000 for each knowing and willful violation of APRA.

Kilmartin has filed 10 open government lawsuits since he took office in January 2011. Only eight open government lawsuits were filed under the two previous attorneys general combined.

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