FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 | email@example.com
The New England First Amendment Coalition recently testified in support of Maine legislation that would make it easier to obtain public employee misconduct records, including those of police officers.
LD 1397 requires longer archiving of public employee misconduct records, more documentation about the misconduct that occurred, and prevents any employment contract or collective bargaining agreement from superseding the records retention schedule determined by the state archivist.
Judy Meyer, a member of NEFAC’s Board of Directors, submitted testimony on behalf of the coalition on April 10. She explained that:
“Through this bill, the Legislature requires much needed public access to the disciplinary records of all public employees. It prevents those records from being destroyed or deemed confidential based on collective bargaining agreements. The bill also requires agencies to provide enough written detail in disciplinary records for the public to understand the underlying behavior and ensures that all disciplinary records are retained for a reasonable period of time to be determined by the State Archivist, not individual agencies that might otherwise favor secrecy.”
NEFAC is the region’s leading advocate for the First Amendment and the public’s right to know about government. The coalition regularly testifies in cases involving First Amendment freedoms and the public’s right to know. All coalition briefs, letters and statements can be found here.
Want to learn more about Maine’s Freedom of Access Act and police transparency in the state? Check out NEFAC’s multimedia FOI Guide for video tutorials, interviews with journalists and legal experts, legislation trackers and more.
NEFAC was formed in 2006 to advance and protect the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment, including the principle of the public’s right to know. We’re a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of an informed democratic society. Our members include lawyers, journalists, historians, academics and private citizens.
Our coalition is funded through contributions made by those who value the First Amendment and who strive to keep government accountable. Please make a donation here.
Leadership Circle donors include the Rhode Island Foundation, Hearst Connecticut Media Group, The Boston Globe, Paul and Ann Sagan, and the Robertson Foundation. Major Supporters include Boston University, the Academy of New England Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, Genie Gannett for the First Amendment Museum, Linda Pizzuti Henry, the Champa Charitable Foundation Fund, Connecticut Public and GBH-Boston.