By Josh Resnek
During the past year, the mayor’s office has alternately answered some of the Leader Herald’s information requests under the Federal FOIA formula while ignoring others.
Since May, the mayor’s office no longer replies to the Leader Herald’s formal FOIA information requests or information requests in general.
What the news organization MassLive.com is finding out is that the mayor’s office does not play by the FOIA rules, which requires timely answers under penalty of punishment for failure to do so to official requests for public information from news organizations or private investigative parties.
The city has failed to respond to the Leader Herald’s FOIA requests or for public information on three separate occasions since March.
This is a part of a pervasive effort to withhold public information from the Leader Herald by the mayor. On March 23, the Leader Herald filed a FOIA requesting an official number from the city regarding how many vacation days the mayor is allotted.
On May 6, the Leader Herald filed twin requests for public comment regarding city layoffs and a second request for the city to reveal how many convicted felons are employed by the city.
The city failed to reply to all three requests for public information.