Lawsuit over Fitzgerald’s FirstNet Emails Surfaces (10/15/13)
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 | Comments

Story County, Iowa, Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald’s emails regarding the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) are part of a U.S. civil lawsuit. Fitzgerald’s accusations about FirstNet’s lack of transparency and openness and conflicts of interests in April led to an investigation by the board and the latest legal dispute about whether the sheriff’s emails should be made publicly available. obtained and posted the complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief that seeks to stop Fitzgerald from releasing his emails under Iowa’s Public Records Act. The lawsuit said Fitzgerald’s emails are federal records of FirstNet, an independent federal authority within the National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA).

“The United States seeks to an order declaring these records to be the property of the United States, subject to its possession and control and an order enjoining defendant from publicly releasing these federal records,” the action said.

The lawsuit said that FirstNet is not subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information act (FOIA), which requires federal agencies upon request to make agency records available for public inspection and copying.

A temporary restraining order restricting publicly releasing emails sent or received by Fitzgerald in his capacity as a member of the board of directors of FirstNet was approved Aug. 20.

The complaint for declaratory and injunctive release is here.

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