Tags: Unions | pensions | public

NH Supreme Court Upholds Right-to-Know Ruling

Friday, 04 Nov 2011 10:13 AM

By Greg McDonald

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The New Hampshire Supreme Court has ordered that the names of public-pension recipients be disclosed, ruling that the public has a right to know the amount of their retirement-benefit payments.
 
The unanimous decision upheld a lower court ruling last year that the public’s right to know how public funds are being spent outweighs personal-privacy issues, according to a report Friday in the Union Leader newspaper.
 
The Union Leader had sought to have the names of the 500 highest-paid recipients publicly disclosed by New the Hampshire Retirement System in early 2010 when the state legislature was considering making changes to the state pension fund. That request, made under the state’s Right- to-Know law, was denied by the retirement system.
 
In the 11-page decision issued Thursday, Associate Justice Gary E. Hicks wrote that the public “has an interest both in knowing how public funds are spent and in uncovering corruption and error” if it exists in the retirement system.”
 
“It appears then, that Union Leader seeks to use the information to uncover potential government error or corruption,” Hicks said. “We cannot say that there is no public interest in such a use.”
 

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