Enquirer threatens lawsuit over streetcar bid docs

From The Cincinnati Enquirer The Enquirer on Thursday threatened legal action against the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority because the public agency refuses to release documents that will give taxpayers information about how much it will cost to run Cincinnati's streetcar each year.

In a March 30 public records request, The Enquirer sought documents submitted by companies bidding to run the day-to-day operations of the city-owned streetcar. SORTA denied that request Monday, saying releasing the proposals to the public before awarding the contract could compromise the competitive process.

State law does not allow for such an exemption, Enquirer attorney Jack Greiner said in a letter to SORTA.

"Further," Greiner wrote, "federal law specifically requires such disclosures of public records as commanded by state law. Consequently, there is no basis for your withholding the requested records. If you persist in doing so, The Enquirer reserves its rights to proceed with (legal) action that will seek statutory damages and attorneys' fees."

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