Government secrecy is fine with the Maine Supreme Court

Today, the Maine Supreme Court handed down a split decision in a case I've written about before (see "Government Secrecy is Fine with Maine's Attorney General," October 10, 2007), handing a victory to Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe - who kept himself conspicuously absent from the case.

Apparently, according to the three justices who voted in the majority in the 3-2 decision (not sure where the other two justices were), when Rowe wrote a formal letter on state letterhead asking three prominent Maine legal scholars to review the conduct of his office's investigation into a crime and report back to him, "in order to ensure continued public confidence" in his office, he created a review body outside the law that is not subject to the state's Freedom of Access Act.

We know we can look for more government officials at the state, county, and municipal levels to outsource their governmental functions to secret tribunals in this manner. And, we hope we can look for legislators to fix this horrific abrogation of the public's right to know.



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