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January 19, 2022

Request:  Did the Stark County Commission violate the open records laws by failing to respond to a request within a reasonable time and by improperly denying a record request?

Conclusion:   At the time Stark County received the request for records relating to finalist applications for a human resources position, the County was experiencing staff turnover, illness, and an election. As a result, the county took 11 days to acknowledge the response. The County initially denied the request on the ground that there were no finalists designated. When the County realized the denial was based on misinformation, it voluntarily provided the records. Although the initial denial was correct based on the information available at the time, and the county provided the records as soon as the error was realized, the delay acknowledging the request and eventually providing records was unreasonable.

Opinion 2022-O-01

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