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Oklahoma governor’s office under fire for open records policy

FOI Oklahoma Inc the latest to accuse Gov. Fallin and her advisers of redefining state’s Open Records Act. Fallin spokesman said the office is working to respond to unprecedented records requests.

BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD Modified: December 6, 2012 at 11:27 pm •  Published: December 7, 2012

Similar records requests have since been filed by three other media outlets, he said.

“This is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process, and right now we’re processing the request and we haven’t denied any documents,” Weintz said.

2-month process?

He estimated it will take 100-plus man-hours and as long as two months to make the documents available.

In the same meeting, Secretary of State Glenn Coffee said that records requests filed with then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s office in 2009 crippled that state’s government and ultimately led to her early resignation.

At the time of her resignation, Palin cited ethics probes and the needs of her family as reasons for stepping down.

Hutson and other open records advocates said the exemptions Mullins cited do not exist in the state’s Open Records Act and that Fallin’s office is trying to redefine state law to limit access.

He included in the letter a copy of a 2010 pledge by Fallin to comply with the letter and spirit of the act.

“These are decisions that are going to have a significant social and economic impact for many Oklahomans, so under those circumstances why can’t we be upfront and say how these decisions are made,” Hutson said. “What’s there that she doesn’t want us to know about?”

Mullins cited similar privileges after receiving records request from The Tulsa World and The Associated Press earlier this year.

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