government watchdog

Government Watchdog Files Complaint with Attorney General of Georgia Due To DeKalb County’s Refusal to Open Records Request

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MEMORANDUM

TO: SAM OLENS, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF GEORGIA
FROM: VIOLA DAVIS WITH UNHAPPY TAXPAYER & VOTER
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT WATCHDOG FILES COMPLAINT WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL OF GEORGIA DUE TO DEKALB COUNTY’S REFUSAL TO ANSWER OPEN RECORDS REQUEST
DATE: MAY 19, 2015

CC: ICEO LEE MAY, DEKALB BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, RESTORE DEKALB, GEORGIA WATCHDOGS, DEKALB COUNTY WATCHDOGS AND ALL APPROPRIATE PARTIES

Government Watchdog Files Complaint with Attorney General of Georgia Due To DeKalb County’s Refusal to Answer Open Records Request

I, Viola Davis, Founder of Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter, submitted a summary of the Open Records Requests denied and/or partially answered by DeKalb County Government to Burke Brennan, DeKalb County Press Secretary, on March 27, 2015. I also informed Interim CEO Lee May and DeKalb County Board of Commissioners of the denied requests.

The prior summary was directed to Burke Brennan per his request. The method in which our Open Records Requests were handled demonstrates a disparity and unequal treatment when private citizens and watchdog organizations submit requests to DeKalb County. However, Burke Brennan delivered four discs to me during a Board of Commissioner’s meeting to answer the request for Kelvin Walton’s emails from January 1, 2010 to the last day of Walton’s employment. Unfortunately, the four discs neglected to answer the following requests:

1. The original Open Records Request made October 8, 2014 to John Matelski, Chief Information Officer, and Barbara Sanders.
2. January 29, 2015 – We sent an email voicing our concern that our Open Records Request was over 3 months old. Michelle Vernon stated they were working on the federal subpoena. We reminded the department that we corrected our Open Records Request a long time ago to extend the dates to the last day Kelvin Walton worked for DeKalb County, or had access to DeKalb County records.
3. The four discs did not include all of Kelvin Walton’s emails for 2013 and 2014.
4. The four discs included emails for 2015 sent to Walton’s email, after Kelvin Walton left employment with DeKalb County.
5. The fact that the county kept Walton’s email account open after he left employment with DeKalb County needs to be investigated.
6. Why did the county purposely refuse to provide Kelvin Walton’s 2013 and 2014 emails to our watchdog ministry? However, they gave us emails dated 2015.

We request the Attorney General of Georgia, Sam Olens, investigate DeKalb County’s negligence and total disregard to adhering to the Georgia Open Records law and the pattern of behavior that “thumbs its nose” at private citizens and watchdog organizations. We plan to file a complaint with Attorney Georgia Sam Olens to hold DeKalb County accountable and restore public trust.