AG rules Governor’s Office delay in providing records is ‘unreasonable’

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Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says a delay from the Governor’s Office in providing records to a citizen regarding the District 8 legislative seat was “unreasonable.”

According to an opinion filed by the attorney general on Friday, a citizen asked for all communication between Gov. Doug Burgum, anybody in the Governor’s Office and the lawyers regarding the District 8 seat that opened after Dave Andahl died.

The opinion says the citizen’s request was acknowledged but that they didn’t hear about the request for several weeks. The citizen emailed again but didn’t hear from the Governor’s Office until six days later when it provided 334 pages of records.

Stenehjem says a delay may be appropriate for a number of reasons, but that the Office must, within a reasonable time period either provide the records or explain why the records are not being provided.

He ruled the Governor’s Office did not provide the requested records within a reasonable time and failed to communicate to the citizen with an explanation for the three-week delay.

Stenehjem says because the requester received all records, there are no further corrective measures that must be taken by the Governor’s Office.

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