So I hate to be the messenger but…
Yesterday, I posted a blog about how Grant County Schools decided that it would be a better idea to give the run-around for a simple Open Records Request (that had been filled by 30+ other school districts already) by opting to involve their legal representation rather than just send me the requested information. I posted the letter I received from the nice folks at O’Hara, Ruberg, Taylor, Sloan and Sergent and asked this question:
Is it a good use of taxpayer money to involve a law firm in a simple Freedom of Information request when the request could have just been filled like all the other schools districts that received the same request? Furthermore, is it transparent?
Well, my curiosity got the better of me. Thankfully, last year, we did an open records request to obtain the Grant County Schools check register. And what did we find? In fiscal year 2009, Grant County Schools paid a legal fee of:
Wow. A six-figure expenditure for legal services in a school district with only 5 schools!?!?? Help me understand this.
Comparable school districts, such as Lee County Schools (4 schools), opted to spend money on legal services by individual use rather than a one time expense and spent a mere fraction of what Grant County did.
- Is this a good use of taxpayer money?
- Why do they feel the need to retain legal services with six-figures
- Why couldn’t they just fulfill the request?
This is why our education system continues to “need” money.