20-IB29 12/2/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. John Young re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Christina School District Board of Education
Petitioner alleged that the Christina School District Board of Directors selected and negotiated terms of employment with a candidate for superintendent out of public view and a meeting’s agenda item, “Board Action on Superintendent Search,” was insufficient to meet the agenda items.
DECIDED: The Board violated FOIA by not noticing and preparing minutes of the meetings of the two Board members, who constituted a Board committee subject to FOIA. No FOIA violation was found relating to allegation about the agenda, because the agenda item provided adequate public notice of the Board’s action.Read More
20-IB28 11/9/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Councilmember Samuel Guy re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Wilmington
Petitioner alleged that the Wilmington City Council President violated FOIA by notifying a councilmember of the revocation of their position without a public meeting, that City held a virtual public meeting and denied this councilmember meeting access codes and other items, and that FOIA does not permit a pre-emptive bar on a public body member’s participation in the public body’s meetings.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found.Read More
20-IB27 11/9/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Keith Steck re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
Petitioner alleged that DNREC improperly denied a comment period at a hearing to members of the general public while permitting permit applicants to speak.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found, because the permit hearing is not subject to FOIA’s open meeting requirements.Read More
20-IB26 10/28/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Marie Hatkevich and Mr. Harvey Shulman re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Rehoboth Beach
Petitioners alleged that the Rehoboth Beach listed an agenda item for a meeting that was impermissibly vague because it did not include the name of a nominee to its membership. The agenda item was amended less than seven days before the meeting to include the name of the nominee.
DECIDED: The City violated FOIA by not briefly stating its reason for amending its agenda, as required by FOIA.Read More
20-IB25 10/28/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Bruce Vivari re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Rehoboth Beach
Petitioner alleged that Rehoboth failed to respond to multiple records requests.
DECIDED: This Office determined that the City violated FOIA by failing to timely respond to three requests.Read More
20-IB24 10/21/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Jeanne Kuang re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank
Petitioner alleged that the Land Bank improperly assessed charges for legal review of requested documents. The Land Bank responded that the review of nonpublic information would be done by a staff member rather than an attorney and would thus be considered administrative.
DECIDED: The Land Bank violated FOIA, as the determination of whether information is exempt from FOIA is legal review. This Office recommended that the Land Bank update its cost estimate accordingly.Read More
20-IB23 10/13/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Richard Abbott re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Environmental Appeals Board
Petitioner alleged the EAB improperly deliberated an appeal twice in executive session. DNREC argued that 7 Del. C. § 6008(a) permitted these deliberations.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found.Read More
20-IB22 10/6/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Ms. Jeanne Kuang re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the City of Wilmington
Petitioner alleged that City applications for federal grants and emails with federal agencies were improperly withheld. The City argued that the completed applications were under the exclusive control of the federal government and email requests should be directed to the Delaware Department of Technology and Information. DECIDED: The City violated FOIA by denying the requests.Read More
20-IB21 7/22/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Councilmember Vicki Carmean re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the Town of Fenwick Island
Petitioner alleged that the Town Council of Fenwick Island violated FOIA because the Town officials should have discussed the matter of approving an open pool bar at a public meeting and certain Town officials made unauthorized statements about this approval.
DECIDED: As these issues are outside the scope of FOIA, no violation of FOIA occurred.Read More
20-IB20 7/1/2020 FOIA Opinion Letter to Mr. Andrew Kerr re: FOIA Complaint Concerning the University of Delaware
Petitioner alleged that the University of Delaware improperly denied its request for records related to the Vice President Biden senatorial papers maintained at the University library.
DECIDED: No FOIA violation was found, as the records were not “public records” subject to FOIA or were exempt pursuant to 29 Del. C. 10002(l)(12) as library patron records.Read More