Walter Luers, an attorney specializing in public records law, said Gannett’s case is important because many public agencies are turning to third-party companies to handle their public records. He said records easily can be provided in electronic formats other than PDF.
On the other hand, the potential legal-fees award runs the risk of providing certain lawmakers with an excuse to neuter the law.
“I blame the town. This is just absurd,” Luers said Wednesday. “This was a municipality out of control. It was a municipal lawyer fighting for the sake of fighting. My view of OPRA is that it is more cost effective to give people the documents rather than risking legal fees.”