Our firm recently won a big appeal at the Cuyahoga County Court of Appeals. We had attempted to secure vital information under the Ohio Public Records Act concerning the work being done (or not done) by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health in the area of lead poisoning prevention. The Board of Health had refused to release ANY records concerning their duties - claiming that they were protected by Ohio law from disclosing their work. The Court of Appeals disagreed - and stated, in part: "In this case, the BOH is currently operating a lead hazard control and health homes program under a $3.4 million federal grant and 'endeavors to pursue elimination of lead hazards each year.' Affidavit of BOH Commissioner Terry Allan, ¶ 16. Release of the requested information could likewise help to hold the BOH accountable for its duty and promise to reduce lead-related hazards in Ohio’s largest county and reveal its successes or failures in doing so, also without requiring the release of prohibited information."
In short, the opinion stated that we (the persons requesting the records) serve a vital public purpose by holding public entities "accountable" for the public duties imposed upon them. Hopefully, we will get the records soon and we (and you) will know what they have been doing with the public money designed for lead poisoning prevention.