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Lebanon corrects record procedure
Sep 05, 2006 12:00 am
City leaders quickly worked Friday to correct a new open records policy on city employees which was apparently illegal under state law.
Lebanon Personnel Director Jim Henderson said the provision requiring extensive information from individuals seeking personnel records, as reported in Friday's edition of The Lebanon Democrat, should have applied only to police officers' files.
"We kind of got it together kind of hurriedly," Henderson admitted Friday.
Under what Lebanon Mayor Don Fox called "non-optional guidelines" for releasing personnel information, one passage calls for requiring the name, address, home and business telephone numbers of the requester, for whom the request was made and driver's license of anyone requesting information.
However, open records laws in Tennessee require this kind of disclosure only for non-undercover police officers. Records of undercover police officers are confidential.
City Attorney Andy Wright explained the changes were fairly quick but made the legal difference.
"I rewrote a couple of sections I think have the intent the mayor wanted it, except it's legal," Wright said.
Fox admitted the provision in question was "an oversight."
"I knew we had gone over (Tennessee Code Annotated)," Fox said. "We went over everything and it looked like it jelled."
Staff Writer Jason Cox can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 45 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.