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Daily Star sues TUSD for release of sup't finalist names

The Arizona Daily Star is suing Tucson Unified School District for failing to disclose the names of the finalists for district superintendent. Although the TUSD Governing Board interviewed four finalists, only the name of the sole remaining candidate, H.T. Sanchez, was released by the district.

From a Star report by Patrick McNamara:

“The selection process here has an acute public interest,” said Dan Barr, attorney with Perkins Coie LLP, which filed the complaint in Pima County Superior Court today on behalf of the Star.

In addition to the general interest, Barr said the public has a right to know who the school district interviewed for the job.

Barr said district officials are "playing a cynical shell game" in claiming documents generated outside of an executive session are covered by the prohibition on disclosing what occurs during such a session.

“Imagine they brought a dictionary into an executive session, would the contents of the dictionary be confidential?” Barr said.

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3 comments on this story

Jun 18, 2013, 9:42 pm
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@Dylan Smith

I’m not a newsman, but as a taxpayer I agree wholeheartedly with your comment. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating…if we’re paying for it, we have a right to see it. Very simple in my mind.

I understand military secrets and the like, but the superintendent of a local school district…the only reason that would be secret is if someone had something to hide.

Jun 18, 2013, 9:04 pm
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@Bret Linden,

The stars align in strange fashion when I find myself agreeing with both Bret Linden and the management of the Star ; )

But as a newsman, I believe pretty strongly in public access to information that taxpayers have shelled out for.

Jun 18, 2013, 3:03 pm
-0 +0

Wow, far be it for me to agree with the Star, but here I am.

I have previously tiraded, and will continue to tirade, about public entities that somehow think that their records aren’t public record. This situation is no exception. There is no legit reason for TUSD to withhold these names from anyone, and I sincerely hope that the Star’s suit is successful.

While I’m not a lawyer, I’m just not seeing how TUSD has any shot in hell at winning this one.

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