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Delaware Department of Justice
Attorney General
Kathy Jennings

 Archived Posts From:  July 2006

06-IB15: RE: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Brandy wine School District Board of Education

Complainant alleged that the Brandywine School District Board of Education violated FOIA’s open meeting requirements by (i) not providing sufficient notice to the public about the matters the Board would discuss in executive session; (ii) discussing matters of public business in private not authorized by FOIA; and (iii) not preparing adequate minutes of executive session meetings. The Board contended it only discussed job applicants and personnel matters in executive session and the minutes were prepared using the format it uses for executive session and that the form complied with FOIA. HELD: (i) The Board violated FOIA’s notice requirements by not disclosing in the agenda that the Board would discuss the qualifications of job applicants for the position of superintendent; (ii) the Board violated FOIA’s notice requirements by discussing several procedural matters at the meeting which FOIA did not authorize for executive session; but (iii) the format of the minutes of the executive session—which included the names of Board members in attendance, the motion to vote and go into executive session, the general nature of the matters discussed, and the motion and vote to adjourn the executive session–did not violate FOIA b/c they met the minimum requirements of FOIA. There is no clearly implied statutory requirement to summarize the subjects discussed with any degree of specificity in the minutes of executive sessions.

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06-IB14 Re: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Town of Middletown

Del. Op. Atty. Gen. 06-IB14 (Del.A.G.), 2006 WL 2355968 Office of the Attorney General State of Delaware Opinion No. 06–IB14 July 12, 2006 Re: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Town of Middletown *1 Mr. Jeff Bruette 116 Sleepy Hollow Drive, Suite C Middletown, DE 19709 Dear Mr. Bruette: Our Office received your complaint dated […]

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06-IB14 – RE: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against Town of Middletown

Complainant alleged that the Town of Middletown violated the public records requirements of FOIA by denying complainant’s request for loan agreements between the Town and Trinity Church and copies of all agreements for loans extended by the Town to any individuals. The Town denied the requests based on 29 Del. C. §10002(g)(1) and (2), arguing that the documents requested are not public records. HELD: Interest free loans made to employees are a form of compensation. Therefore, the disclosure of these loans and information about the employee that received the loan would not constitute an invasion of privacy and is therefore not protected by FOIA. The information is also not “confidential financial information” within the meaning of FOIA because the loan information did not come from a person. The exemption is meant to protected “technical or financial data submitted by an applicant to a Government lending or loan guarantee agency.” In this case, the loan agreements were generated by the Town in the course of its involvement with borrowers and was not exempt from disclosure. Although Town was required to disclose the loan agreements, Town was instructed to redact confidential information such as personal financial statements, tax returns, home addresses and telephone numbers, social security numbers and bank account numbers.

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