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Follow VPR's statehouse coverage, featuring Pete Hirschfeld and Bob Kinzel in our Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier.

Sec. Of State Wants An Easier Way For Vermonters To Appeal Denial Of Public Records

Secretary of State Jim Condos wants to make it easier for Vermonters to appeal a denial of a public records request
Peter Hirschfeld
/
VPR file
Secretary of State Jim Condos, pictured in a 2015 file photo, wants to make it easier for Vermonters to appeal a denial of a public records request. He has proposed the creation of an office known as the state ombudsman to consider appeals.

Secretary of State Jim Condos is backing an effort to give Vermonters easier access to public records.

Currently, when a state or local agency denies a public records request, it takes a court appeal to overturn the decision.

But Condos wants lawmakers to create a new office, known as the state ombudsman, to consider appeals. He said it's a less burdensome way for people to pursue a public records request. 

"It would offer [an] intermediary appeal point for citizens of the state of Vermont when they're denied access to public records or if there's an open meeting violation — or they believe an open meeting violation — to get some kind of an opinion on it,” said Condos.

And Condos said he'd also like lawmakers to allocate more resources to beef up the investigative functions of the Vermont State Ethics Commission.

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