Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is coming under increasing criticism for what some describe as blatant attacks on open government laws.
The most recent issue to capture headlines and draw the ire of open-government defenders was a move by Malloy and others in his administration to shield from public view documents related to the Newtown shootings, including audio tapes of the 911 calls that day and documents describing victims' injuries.
The bill was drafted in secret and ultimately the Malloy administration abandoned it after the plan was made public, prompting a backlash of criticism.
According to the blog Capitol Watch the proposal drew the ire of the chairman of Connecticut's Repubilcan Party, Jerry Labriola, who said “Malloy has become the leading foe of FOI – and the legislature’s Democratic majority has been his willing accomplice. He talks the talk on open government and transparency, but forget about walking the walk – but he does everything he can to run away from it.”
Labriola went on to note several other instances in which Malloy has pursued proposals to block public access to government in one form or another, including:
- A former key Malloy official conducted state business using his personal email account so he could avoid public scrutiny.
- Malloy has proposed exempting pardon applications from the Freedom of Information Act and preclude the public from attending hearings of the Board of Pardons and Paroles.
- The governor merged the three independent state watchdog agencies (Ethics, Elections Enforcement and Freedom of Information) into one entity
- Malloy proposed combining the legal and investigative staffs from those three watchdog agencies.
- Malloy signed into law a proposal that shields from the public the identity of felons convicted of committing a crime with a gun.