Opinion, WVPA Sharing

Editorial: Defending Our Right to Know in West Virginia

From The Intelligencer of Wheeling:

“Transparency” has become one of the favorite buzzwords used by politicians and candidates for office. All too often, they are about as transparent as a lump of coal. We suppose West Virginians ought to be grateful that we are reminded of that frequently.

Another tipoff has come in regard to the RISE West Virginia scandal. You will recall that last year, it was learned state officials were dragging their feet in using nearly $150 million in federal funds intended to aid victims of severe flooding in June 2016. Earlier this year, some people still waiting for assistance sought help from Mountain State Justice, a nonprofit group providing legal assistance. MSJ attorney Bren Pomponio asked for certain flood aid records from the state Commerce Department. Frustrated at foot-dragging over the documents, he filed a lawsuit against the agency several weeks ago.

State attorneys said the lawsuit should be dismissed. Why, they argued in Kanawha County Circuit Court, Pomponio had not complied with a law requiring that anyone suing a state official or agency provide 30 days’ notice before filing.

Apparently, transparency applies only if state officials cannot find a technicality to dodge it. …

Read more: http://www.theintelligencer.net/opinion/editorials/2019/08/defending-our-right-to-know/

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