Corbett Needs To Quit Wasting Taxpayer Funds And Release Dumaresq Emails

October 28, 2014 | By Campaign for a Fresh Start

Refuses to Say if Dept. of Education Will Comply With Open Records Ruling

Philadelphia, PA – The Campaign for a Fresh Start today called on Tom Corbett's Department of Education to quit wasting taxpayer resources by fighting a Right-to-Know Request submitted by two Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporters seeking Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq's emails "as they pertain to the performance of her duties" since her appointment. The request for emails was submitted after Dumaresq said that it was department policy to "delete and cleanse" emails daily rather than retain them as public records.

The Corbett administration has said that it is "evaluating its appeal options" to fight the ruling of the Office of Open Records. This order by the Office of Open Records is actually an overruling of the Corbett administration's previous attempt to deny the Post-Gazette Right-to-Know requests.

"Once again, Tom Corbett is trying to keep the public from learning the truth about his failed administration," Fresh Start Spokesman Mike Mikus said. "Governor Corbett's stalling tactics can only mean that he and his Department of Education have something to hide. It is time for Tom Corbett to stop playing games and wasting taxpayer resources and order his Department of Education to release these emails immediately."

On August 25, the Campaign for a Fresh Start sent Right to Know Requests to the Office of the Governor, the Department of Education, and the Office of Administration requesting Tomalis's employee contract(s), employee performance review(s), evaluation(s), individual development plan(s), progress report(s), and employee performance plan(s), all of which are common state employee documents. The Corbett Administration said that these documents did not exist. Last month, Corbett's administration petitioned the Commonwealth Court to overrule the Office of Open Records' order to release potentially embarrassing emails between Corbett, senior administration officials, former Education Secretary Ron Tomalis, and members of the Penn State Board of Trustees regarding the Jerry Sandusky investigation.

"The Corbett Administration has continually tried to keep the public from knowing what is happening within the Department of Education," Mikus said. "Why is Corbett going to such great lengths -- and wasting taxpayer money -- to block the release of information about his Department of Education? From the Ron Tomalis cover-up to the purging of emails, something stinks in Tom Corbett's Department of Education."

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