Gov. Bentley Rejects Open Records Request

Oct 24, 2012

Gov. Robert Bentley's office says Alabama's open records law doesn't cover budget cut proposals he could have implemented if Alabama voters had rejected the transfer of $437 million to the state General Fund budget. The Decatur Daily filed a public records request asking for correspondence between the governor and his staff or agency heads about possible cuts and about plans for early retirement incentives for public employees. Bentley's chief deputy legal adviser, Anne Elizabeth McGowin, responded that the information is not public record because it is part of the deliberative process and does not represent the ultimate decision. She said disclosure "would impair future evaluations by inhibiting candid conversation." Alabama Press Association attorney Dennis Bailey said there is no law in Alabama that says working documents are exempt. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.