News/Case Summaries

Ohio court weighs greed vs. public right to know

By JULIE CARR SMYTH AP Statehouse Correspondent

April 21, 2011

A citizen activist says he was wronged by the city of New Philadelphia's failure to give him 20 years of 911 tapes he sought, which were long ago recorded over. The city says he can prove no harm and that he didn't even want the tapes _ he wanted the thousands in penalty dollars.

Attorneys for both sides argued Wednesday before the Ohio Supreme Court, disagreeing on whether Timothy Rhodes was "aggrieved" under state public records law by the city's records destruction.

Rhodes' lawyer said Rhodes shouldn't be faulted for the $84,000 or more he could collect. He says it's intended to punish the city for breaking the law.

An attorney for the city said a ruling in Rhodes' favor would "set off a gold rush" of unjustified records requests across Ohio.

___

Online:

http://tinyurl.com/3jfpcsc

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.