Court Delivers Mixed Public Records Decision

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The Vermont Supreme Court has granted a partial victory to the Rutland Herald in the newspaper’s effort to get access to records concerning allegations that city employees viewed pornography at work.

The justices issued the second decision in as many weeks in the Herald’s access-to-records fights. It said the paper can get access to disciplinary records stemming from the investigation of city public works employees for viewing pornography at work, though the names of the workers will be blocked out.

But it barred similar access to a probe of city police department employees. The court ruled that was exempt from disclosure because it was linked to the detection and investigation of crimes. It also called for the Legislature to re-examine and perhaps qualify that exemption.

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