Grimaldi won't get New Castle County records, despite mishandled FOIA
A new opinion from the state attorney general’s office says New Castle County illegally processed a public records request from its former chief administrative officer, but the county won’t have to give up any material.
New Castle County Executive Tom Gordon (D) fired his second-in-command, David Grimaldi, last October after Grimaldi questioned Gordon’s relationship with another high-ranking county official.
That eventually sparked a wrongful termination lawsuit, as well as a Freedom of Information Act request seeking all audio recordings of the New Castle County benefits committee dating back to Oct. 1, 2014.
By law, government agencies must fulfill, deny or explain why they need more time to address a records request within 15 business days.
The attorney general opinion found county officials failed to notify Grimaldi they needed more time to determine whether or not the recordings were public records until they denied the request months later, saying they’re related to pending litigation.
Because Grimaldi filed his lawsuit just 10 days after requesting the AG force the release of those recordings, the opinion says “…there can be no doubt that the recordings are being sought for the purpose of advancing your case in litigation.”