Suffolk Superior Court Issues Decision in Globe Public Records Case

On June 14th, Suffolk Country Superior Court Judge Thomas A. Connors issued a decision in an action brought by the Boston Globe. The Globe sought public records relating to settlement agreements entered into by state agencies with their employees. The Court ordered the release of the records sought, but clarified the permissible scope of redaction based on “personnel information” or “privacy interests.”  The records custodians redacted the names of the employees, and the Globe challenged that redaction.   The decision states:

Disaggregated from the protected personnel information, the identities of the employees and the other information contained in the agreements are “wholly unrelated to any individual’s privacy interest,” Wakefield Teachers Ass’n v. School Comm. Of Wakefield. 431 Mass. at 800, and, therefore, are not subject to exemption.12 Cf. Georgiou v. Commissioner of Dep’t of Indus. Accidents. 67 Mass. App. Ct. at 435.  . . . Essentially what remains after the records are properly redacted are the identities of the public employees, the entities for which they work or had worked, the financial consideration they may have received as part of the agreements, and various formulaic legal provisions which are unrelated to specifics which properly fall within the personnel-related.”

See the full text of the Decision:  Globe Decision

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