HARRISBURG — This Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration will continue its fight to hide Katie McGinty’s extreme, partisan record from the public disclosure.
After a Republican Party of Pennsylvania open records request under the state’s Right to Know Law, the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records determined a number of McGinty’s emails from her tenure as Governor Wolf’s Chief of Staff should be made public. Instead of complying, the Wolf administration and McGinty have fought to stonewall these efforts at every turn. These efforts have lasted well over a year.
The Commonwealth Court will hear Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Office of the Governor v. Paul Engelkemier on Tuesday morning in Harrisburg.
“The Office of Open Records says the taxpayers that paid Katie McGinty’s salary have a right to see these emails under the law: it’s as simple as that. The issue of transparency is especially crucial given McGinty’s past ethics investigations and long history of profiting from the revolving door between government service and corporate boards. The public also has the right to know how McGinty justified enormous middle-class tax hikes on college students, seniors and families last year.” – PA GOP Communications Director Megan Sweeney
Previously, the Harrisburg Patriot-News‘ John Micek explained why the Wolf/McGinty stonewalling is problematic for the public:
…as Muschick notes, and we reinforce, the administration doesn’t get to consider the why of a request for records. It must, under the law, only consider whether the documents in question meet the definition of a public record and release them accordingly.
One of the great reforms to the state’s Open Records Law in 2008 was the so-called “flip in presumption,” that all records were public unless there was a compelling reason not to release them.
Moreover, McGinty was Wolf’s top adviser and senior aide. Her word carried weight in the front office and the public has a right to know what she did when she had the job.
An administration that prides itself on transparency should keep that in mind.