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Proof emerges that Michigan AG wields FOIA fees like a weapon against transparency & open govt

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Originally posted at Eclectablog.com.

Bombshell news coming via Progress Michigan this morning detailing how Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is using fees for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to interfere with government transparency.

Earlier this year, Progress Michigan asked the state government for copies of all communications between Paul Pastorek, one of Snyder's education advisers, and employees of the Michigan Department of Education, Education Achievement Authority and Michigan Department of Treasury. Pastorek was the state superintendent of schools in Louisiana from 2007-2011 and he has been widely criticized for his handling of schools there in the wake of Hurricane Katrina which obliterated many of the neighborhoods and their schools in New Orleans.

In response, the Department of Treasury told them they could have the information with one caveat: it came with a $52,000 price tag. The Department of Education and the Education Achievement Authority provided the information without cost.

This morning, Progress Michigan revealed that Schuette directed the Department of Treasury to use the exorbitant fees to scare off (“cry wolf” in their inaccurately chosen words) Progress Michigan:

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