Ferguson officials charge inflated fees for access to public documents
NO SUNSHINE IN FERGUSON: Ferguson city officials are charging the press alarming fees for public documents related to the shooting of Michael Brown.
By Brad Matthews | WatchdogWire.com
In the face of media attempts to access documents related to the shooting by a police officer of Michael Brown and its aftermath, Ferguson officials are charging high fees just to allow access to public records normally protected by the states long-standing Sunshine Law.
According to the Associated Press, the city has demanded fees for documents that it could have released for free, without much in the way of explaining the reason for demanding such costs for the records. The fees are allowed by law, but are often accompanied by an explanation of the cost, and are rarely this high.
The AP notes that in one case, the city charged $135 an hour to access emails made since the time of the shooting. The fee did not include additional costs to review or release the emails.
The AP said hourly rate was almost 10 times the hourly salary paid to Ferguson city clerks.