Nearly all Ed FitzGerald incident reports exempt from public records law, Cuyahoga County says

From The Plain Dealer Cuyahoga County officials said Wednesday they were largely within the law to keep secret incident reports involving former county executive and one-time Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald.

Nineteen pages of incident reports released as part of an Ohio Supreme Court decision against the county were a fraction of the 550 pages of records county officials say were reviewed by the court.

The court found the county sheriff's office illegally withheld eight incident reports in response to a 2015 public records request.

But county officials counted the decision as a win.

"The county prevailed with regard to the vast majority of the challenged documents," the county said in a statement from spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan. "The rest remain protected under seal because they document real threats and investigations. The court recognized that the county properly withheld those reports because our principal protection unit determined there were threats and we take threats very seriously."

Attorneys for plaintiff Mark Miller did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Wednesday. The court awarded Miller court costs and attorney fees in an amount yet to be determined.

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