Thursday, August 13, 2009

Koster: No Sunshine Law Broken in E.Coli-Gate

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's attorney general says no laws were broken when the Department of Natural Resources hung onto a report on E. coli in the Lake of the Ozarks for a month.
Water samples taken May 26 showed levels of E. coli bacteria in two spots on the lake 19 times higher than the state standard. But the DNR did not release the report until one month later, on June 26.
A report Thursday by Attorney General Chris Koster concluded the agency didn't violate Missouri's open records law.
Koster says that's because no one had sought the data in a form the department should have interpreted as a Sunshine Law request.
Koster reviewed the DNR's actions at the request of Ken Midkiff, who says Koster's report reflects a "shabby" investigation.
Missouri Republican Party executive director Lloyd Smith said the investigation leaves many questions unanswered.
"The Attorney General’s report, which was narrowly focused on possible Sunshine Law violations by the Department of Natural Resources, leaves many questions unanswered. Missourians still don’t know what Jay Nixon knew and when he knew it, and they don’t know if Nixon continues to conceal evidence that would implicate him in the scandal. We look forward to the State Senate’s bipartisan investigation into Jay Nixon’s role in withholding information about dangerous levels of E coli in Lake of the Ozarks from the public," said Smith.

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