Reader MP checks in with a thought on the Ethics Orgy Hotline:
As a City employee, I can say that it would totally change the way I feel about possibly calling in tips or problems to the hotline if I knew that whatever I say could be released via a public records act. That would kill the hotline for me and probably every other City employee, thus defeating the purpose of setting up a hotline in the first place.
Fine. But my argument is simple, and it’s been communicated to the city attorney: I will understand if some of the records are held because of any criminal investigations that they may have provoked. And I understand that I shouldn’t be given any names of the people who call in.
But the records of the hotline complaints that aren’t being investigated are public. There’s no reason under the law that they are protected. We have a right to judge the efficacy of the hotline and the Office of Ethics and Integrity and the importance of having it. And we have a right to see the records and any insights they might provide on how the government is functioning.
And finally, I wouldn’t even really care that much except that it’s so weird to have my request rejected, then un-rejected and then, finally, just plainly ignored.