City Paper is not for tourists
Don’t give up without a fight. That’s a rallying cry for underdogs the world over, for overachievers, for those who are oppressed by the man, for all classes of disadvantaged individuals.
And also for D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles, at least when it comes to requests for documents. The human FOIA denier just suffered a setback in D.C. Superior Court, a consequence of his decision to deny D.C. Auditor Deborah Nichols access to files on secret real-estate deals consummated by city authorities. The deals in question were negotiated by the now-shuttered Anacostia Waterfront Corp. and the National Capital Revitalization Corp., and Nichols apparently wanted to inspect all the documents with an eye toward determining how good a deal the city was driving. Nickles told her no way—-you can’t simply have access to the files.
But Superior Court Senior Judge Eugene Hamilton ruled yes way, you can have access to those files. Here’s Legal Times on the matter:
The dispute had pitted Nickles against former D.C. Attorney General Robert Spagnoletti, now a partner with Schertler & Onorato, who represents Nichols. In response to today’s ruling, Spagnoletti said via e-mail, “The court’s Order today confirms that the Auditor has a statutory right to unrestricted access to District government documents when performing her important auditing duties. The Auditor reluctantly—and for the first time ever—turned to the court when the Mayor and Deputy Mayor interfered with that statutory right.”