The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
The Rendell administration appears to be going out of its way to block public access to government documents. At least that is the impression left on the state’s new open-records czar.
Terry Mutchler, executive director of Pennsylvania’s Office of Public Records, has written to Gov. Rendell questioning whether top administration officials share the view that government should be open and transparent.
In the three-page letter, obtained by The Inquirer, Mutchler revealed a list of her concerns over how the administration has dealt with her and her staff – as well as individual records requests – since she was tapped to lead the open-records office in June.
According to her letter, the situation has gotten so bad that lawyers in Rendell’s office have put representatives of every state agency on notice not to even take her calls. Everything has to be in writing, the lawyers insist.
Mutchler, incidentally, is Rendell’s own appointment.