(VIDEO of Duggan’s testimony below at 41 MIN mark)
Valley Patriot publisher Tom Duggan testified before a sub committee of the Massachusetts State Legislature in favor of a bill he wrote S1700 that would finally put teeth into the state’s public records law.
Duggan’s bill, if passed, would fine the keeper of public records in any municipality or state agency $50 a day (personally) for every day after the 10 day period the documents are not turned over.
Duggan also detailed for legislators that The Valley Patriot’s incurred $11,000 in legal fees to take the City of Lawrence to court when they refused to turn over public records under Mayor Lantigua.
Because there is no penalty in the law, three Superior Court judges admitted on the record that they could not force the city to turn over the documents or award the newspaper legal fees.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKE4B47qyjE&w=388&h=288]