Susan A.

What kind of an answer is this from a public school district superintendent??? He didn’t provide the requested public record. He is misrepresenting material information here:

“You have been provided with information. You have been provided with information about obtaining a formal letter with the information provided in a previous email. The Salem School District has no more obligation in this matter. From this point forward your emails are blocked.”

Michael Delahanty, Ed.D. Superintendent

Susan A.

I think that superintendent has lied to me. It seems to me: that superintendent knows there is no public record existing for the person I mentioned, because: that person, Allun Hamblett, actually was never employed by that New Hampshire school district.

But, because that person Hamblett is an agent of GH Bush, is my belief, this superintendent, who knows that, has to keep on telling me lies.

Yet, it seems to me the New Hampshire public records law is extremely clear that I can obtain the public record I was seeking, if indeed Allun Hamblett had been an employee ever in that district (and Hamblett never was an employee there).

Here is the NH public record law as it pertains to public school districts:

https://www.nhbar.org/publications/archives/display-journal-issue.asp?id=29

Bar Journal - Spring 2004

The Right to Know Law

By: Attorney Daniel J. Mullen

RSA 91-A, commonly known as the “Right-to-Know Law,” governs access to public records in the State of New Hampshire. The preamble to RSA 91-A states:

Openness in the conduct of public business is essential to a democratic society. The purpose of this chapter is to ensure both the greatest possible public access to the actions, discussions and records of all public bodies, and their accountability to the people. The Right-to-Know Law was intended to increase public access to governmental proceedings in order to augment public control of government and encourage administrative responsibility.1

The Right-to-Know Law provides access not only to documents, but also to meetings and other government proceedings. It outlines circumstances under which access is granted; and it provides exemptions in certain circumstances.

For over 30 years, the Attorney General’s Office has provided guidance in complying with RSA 91-A to state and local officials, the public and the media, in order to promote the principles of openness and access to state and local government. This article will provide a general overview of the statute as it has evolved through amendment and caselaw over the years.

I. SCOPE OF THE RIGHT-TO-KNOW LAW

The Right-to-Know Law establishes certain procedures to be followed by governmental bodies and certain rights of access by members of the general public to the meetings and records of those bodies. The Right-to-Know Law expressly applies to the Legislature, the Governor’s Council, the Board of Trustees of the University System of New Hampshire, and any board, commission, agency or authority of any county, town, municipal corporation, school district, school administrative unit, charter school, or other political subdivision, or any committee, subcommittee, or subordinate body thereof, or advisory committee thereto.2

Records. The Right-to-Know Law does not define public record. It does provide that “every citizen . . . has the right to inspect all public records.”20 Case law indicates that the term refers to specific, preexisting files, documents, or data in an agency’s files, and not to information that might be gathered or compiled from numerous sources.21 The New Hampshire Supreme Court has determined that certain records are public. These include individual salaries and employment contracts of public officials and employees, including school teachers,22 certain law enforcement investigative records,23 and state agency budget requests and income estimates submitted pursuant to RSA 9:4, 5 to the Commissioner of Administrative Services.24 Additionally, RSA 91-A was recently amended to state that records of any payment in addition to regular salary and accrued vacation, sick, and other leave made to any employee of any public agency or body listed in RSA 91-A:1-a, I-4, or to an employee’s agent or designee, upon the employee’s resignation, discharge, or retirement, is a public record.25

Lastly, public documents stored in computers shall be available in the same manner as records stored in public files if access to such records would not reveal work papers, personnel data or other confidential information.26

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It seems to me this NH law is saying you have a right to “inspect” the record – but, what, not to obtain a copy of it? I wonder if that particular NH public school district has any mention of public records laws on its web site.

I also wonder if this is a question for NH Attorney General: can you the AG compel a school district to copy and mail a public record the school district claims exists (rather than require me, the out of state requester to go to that school district to “inspect” what I already believe is actually a non-existent record)?

Susan A.

According to this national web site, NH does indeed mail public records – and NH has a five day response time deadline:

http://www.nfoic.org/print/new-hampshire-sample-foia-request

The real problem here is this: that superintendent is being told by GH Bush NOT to disclose the truth, which is that Allun Hamblett never worked at that NH public school district every.

So, that NH superintendent won’t disclose that fact to me.

Instead, this NH superintendent keeps demanding I go to NH, to come and get what is actually a non-existent public record, so that this NH superintendent can then: call in state troopers to arrest me for allegedly causing a disturbance when in fact I would not be causing any such thing.

But I will not allow myself to be set up this way. This superintendent is required to response, in writing, the truth: no public record whatsoever exists for Allun R. Hamblett. Or, if the superintendent really wants to engage in more wrongdoing, and GH Bush has a forgery read to send to me, well, then, go ahead and send me the forgery in response to my public records request. But don’t keep telling me to go to the school district or that emails are blocked.

I am making a lawful public records request. But I am dipping into an extremely unlawful situation is what is happening here.

What to do? I am thinking: Can Muckrock ask the NH Attorney General for help? Or somehow sue the school district for failing to respond via US mail to a public records request, whether such records exist or not? Because I am not going to NH to be falsely arrested; sorry.

Susan A.

And by the way: Isn’t “LIVE FREE OR DIE” the NH state motto? I happen to like NH and think it quite beautiful. But I really don’t like how this superintendent is ducking this public records request, offering to write a letter I have to come get in person, claiming Allun Hamblett worked there, without any supporting public record evidence provided.

It’s a crock ‘o you- know-what is what’s happening here, as this superintendent is trying to do is to evade the truth. Because the truth is this: Allun Hamblett never worked there.

All the superintendent has to do is write back and say it: there are no public records on file anywhere in this school district’s personnel, HR, benefits and payroll depts to indicate we ever had an employee named “Allun Hanblett.”

But this public school district superintendent won’t say the truth, above, because: his pal GH Bush is asking him not to, is what I believe.

Susan A.

I see from this school district’s online public docs I can appeal directly to their school board, so I did.

Jack R-W

I have to say, I feel bad for any public information officer who has to read over this conspiratorial drivel and reply.

Susan A.

I’m sorry; I was thinking aloud and I won’t do that here on this Q&A.

My request was really very simple to this school district; asking if a person was a former employee.

I have since learned I can appeal directly to the school board.

Thank you for your comment.

Susan A.

By the way, my new appeal is called “To the Salem School Board - Right to Appeal Public Records.”

I hope that sounds OK to you. I am learning. Thanks.

Jack R-W

“My request was really very simple to this school district; asking if a person was a former employee. ” You’re correct, it was, although the actual request was clustered in a huge irrelevant wall of text. Very few states require you to include a reason for your request, and for that reason it is always better to leave it off. They don’t care. In all jurisdictions, it’s best to send as few words as possible while still accurately conveying the request.

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