A local journalist, joined by a national news outlet, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Memphis and Shelby County Crime Commission (MSCC), contending that its records should be open to the public.
The suit was filed in Shelby County Chancery Court by Wendi Thomas, founder of MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, along with leaders from The Marshall Project, a New York-based nonprofit news organization.
According to the petitioners, the MSCC denied multiple records requests, including requests for the details surrounding a $6.1 million police retention grant the commission announced in October.
Thomas and the other petitioners also requested information including how the commission operates, what its policies are, and details of its interactions with the Memphis Police Department and others.
The suits says, in part, that because the MSCC is “the functional equivalent of a government agency, it’s records are, therefore, public records subject to the access requirements of the Public Records Act.”
However, the crime commission maintains that it does not have to adhere to the Tennessee Public Records Act and that its records are not public.
In one response to Thomas’ request for records, MSCC president Bill Gibbons responded: “As we have stated in response to precious similar requests, the Memphis and Shelby County Crime Commission is a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit entity and is not subject to the Tennessee Public Records Act.”
Additionally, the suit argues that because one-third of the MSCC’s current leadership, including Gibbons, is employed by a public entity, the commission itself is a public body.
The petitioners are asking the court to order MSCC to appear before the court within 10 days to make its case.
Additionally, Thomas and The Marshall Project staff are asking that the documents previously requested are released immediately, their attorneys fees be covered, and that the court finds that the MSCC “willfully refused to grant access to public records.”
Chairman of the MSCC board of dircetors Ben Adams said in a statement Thursday that the commission is not subject to the public records act: “The Crime Commission is a non-profit corporation funded privately and with no governmental authority. It is not subject to the public records act.”
This story has been updated with a statement from the MSCC. Continue Reading
In the past, home owners are restricted to some limited options when they are in search of the best alternatives for natural grass to be installed in their San Diego homes. Artificial grass and huge rock garden are the best options you can consider to be installed in your homes and office.
Some year's back just one variety of artificial grass is available which looks unreal. Things are getting better these days, there are quite pretty number of varieties available when it comes to installing artificial lawns with real and natural feel. This is motivating many people in San Diego to use artificial turf instead of real grass.
Artificial turf fields are on their way to Petaluma, CA. Three artificial turf fields are scheduled to be installed at a Petaluma park. Artificial turf fields will also be installed later at two high schools who are following suit.
Parents have expressed their concerns however concerning risk of bacterial infections, heat conduction, the effects of crumb rubber, and increased risk of physical injuries to players.
A high school in Keizer, OR, is beginning to raise money for a new sports field to be installed with synthetic turf. The high school, McNary High School, says if it raises $1 million, they'll be able to get rid of their irregular and inconvenient natural grass field which has patches of dead grass scattered across its face and replace it with synthetic turf, which will save the school district money and increase usability. The school hopes to start converting their current fields to synthetic turf this summer and to have it completed by the next school year.
Global Syn-Turf, Inc. is a leading manufacturer and wholesaler of high-quality artificial grass in the United States and Canada. The company offers an extensive selection of products for commercial and residential landscapes, playgrounds, sports athletic fields, municipalities, golf putting greens and pet areas. Global Syn-Turf, Inc. provides innovative, environmentally friendly synthetic turf systems which require little maintenance, no water, pesticides, or fertilizers through multiple company-owned distribution centers across the United States. The state-of-the-art artificial grass offers realism, drainage, performance, safety, and durability. Global Syn-Turf is the exclusive artificial grass partner of San Francisco 49ers.
Thank you for your question.