This week’s round-up: The cost of protecting the Winter White House, pay for play(s) in Michigan, and the DOE’s dwindling civil rights caseload
Records released this week show taxpayers paid almost $20 million for the Coast Guard to protect President Donald Trump during visits to Mar-a-Lago, and a Michigan State Police captain is under investigation for favoring a towing firm in exchange for sports tickets. Plus, records show the Department of Education has closed more than 1200 Obama-era civil rights probes, and the Environmental Protection Agency is making FOIA requesters wait for documents - with an average processing time for complex requests of 388 days.
FOIA requests filed last year with various federal agencies for “guidelines and policies” for the use of confidential informants returned only one completed response and several rejection, making significant public accountability regarding the practice all but impossible.
Under FOIA, there are three categories of requesters: media, which has the lowest level of fees; all others, which are assessed a moderate levels of fees for covering search and duplication costs; and commercial, which has high fees to cover legal review. A Coast Guard lawyer has ruled that, because MuckRock has readers, it’s commercial, not media.
Joshua Eaton sent this request to the Coast Guard - Office of Intelligence and Criminal Investigations (CG-2) of the United States of America