State Pays $175,000 To Settle Lawsuits Over Delayed Release Of Public Records

Des Moines, Iowa — The Iowa Freedom of Information Council and two others will be paid 175 thousand dollars to settle two lawsuits that accused Governor Reynolds and her staff of violating open records laws.

The settlements were approved by the state treasurer and the director of the Iowa Department of Management, who are members of the State Appeal Board. The only no came from State Auditor Rob Sand.

The lawsuits stemmed from public records requests made to state agencies over a year and a half, starting in April 2020. Attorneys for the governor argued in court that there is no specific deadline in state law for fulfilling public records requests. In April this year, the Iowa Supreme Court called the delayed responses unreasonable.

Sand says the governor’s office failed to reply to some public records requests for up to a year.

Kollin Crompton, deputy communications director for Governor Reynolds, says the COVID-19 response put unprecedented demands on the governor’s team to meet the immediate needs of Iowans, and public records requests were unintentionally delayed. Crompton says those delays were unacceptable, and the governor’s office continues to reevaluate the process to improve timeliness.



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