Court rules records of threats against Kasich are not public

From The Columbus Dispatch Police records involving threats against Gov. John Kasich can remain secret because their release could compromise the governor’s safety, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

State Highway Patrol records that the Department of Public Safety refused to turn over to the liberal-leaning blog Plunderbund are exempt from release as security records, the court ruled.

The justices’ unanimous ruling could affect a case in which the Ohio Republican Party sued Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ed FitzGerald over his claiming the security exemption to withhold records.

“The records at issue involve direct threats against the highest official in the executive branch of Ohio government,” the court wrote in its unsigned opinion.

“Information included in these threats ... is used for protecting and maintaining the security of the governor and his staff and family and for maintaining the secure functioning of the governor’s office.”

Plunderbund turned to the Supreme Court after public-safety officials declined two years ago to turn over limited records involving threats against Kasich.

The blog argued that the security exemption involving a “public office” applied only to records involving the placement of cameras, building blueprints, the scheduling of security personnel and similar matters.

The court disagreed, saying that the exemption to the public-records act also involves the personal security of the governor and the need to protect him from “attack, interference, sabotage or terrorism.”

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