Marshals’ appearance causes stir at Franklin County recorder’s office

From The Columbus Dispatch A pair of U.S. marshals visited the Franklin County recorder’s office late last month, and, lest readers jump to conclusions, we should say upfront that no one was in trouble.

The marshals were inquiring about whether public records kept at the office — say, deeds, mortgages, military discharge papers — must be included in searchable, online databases if the document contains personal information about any federal officials. They also wanted to see how the agencies could better work together to track ownership of seized properties.

While routine and noncontroversial, the visit of two federal agents lit up the county government center’s gossip network like a Christmas tree. Dispatch reporters and editors got their first calls (yes, plural) about the agents almost before the doors closed behind them — and well before anyone knew why they were there.

We’re not criticizing. It’s better than the alternative, which is when our phones never ring.

And, for the record, there’s no resolution yet as to that question about federal officials’ online information.

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