Ohio Gov. John Kasich has asserted a rarely used “executive privilege” provision to deny the state Democratic Party access to detailed records about how he spent his summer this year.
"The governor has more or less pulled the nuclear option for open records," said Democratic Party spokesman Jerid Kurtz, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Republican governor asserted the provision after Democrats sued his administration in attempt to gain access to his complete schedule of June through August. The lawsuit claimed the governor's office had not complied fully or on time with a public records request for details of both his past and future schedules.
Kasich's office did give the Democrats some of that they wanted, including a full schedule breakdown from July 9 to Aug. 27. But in records covering June 1 through July 8, at least 80 of the 127 events and appointments on the schedule were blacked out. According to the Plain Dealer, the governor's office offered no explanation for the redactions as Ohio open records law requires.
Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols declined to comment on the redacted schedule, but insisted the governor's office has "consistently complied" with the Democrats' requests. He said, however, that his future calendar would not be released, “as that puts him at security risk.”
Kurtz said Democrats are seeking records that may be tied to former state Schools Superintendent Stan Heffner, who resigned Aug. 4 following an inspector general's report revealing that he testified in favor of legislation that would have benefitted a company that was considering hiring him.
Democrats said they want to know who Kasich may have been meeting with during the Heffner investigation.
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