News

More than 4 months later, still no decision on Open Records Director

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Aug 21, 2014 4:00 AM
terry_mutchler.jpg

Photo by (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Harrisburg) -- The Pennsylvania Office of Open Records is going on 5 months without an official executive director, despite both Democrats and Republicans voicing support to retain current director Terry Mutchler.

The 6 year term for the former Associated Press journalist expired April 24th, but since then, both sides of the aisle have urged Governor Corbett to re-appoint her for another 6 years.

The Office of Open Records enforces the state’s Right to Know law and mediates disputes about records.

Recently, both the Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, both Republicans, sent a letter to Governor Corbett.

"She certainly has support on the Republican side of the aisle, she certainly has support on the Democratic side of the aisle, and I have to say I'm very disappointed that she hasn't been re-appointed to date," says Democratic Senator Matt Smith, minority chair of the Senate State Government Committee.

He adds that he doesn't understand what could be giving Corbett pause.

"Certainly no one, as far as I know, has raised any concerns relative to her re-appointment, so I believe she should be re-appointed without delay, and she should be permitted to serve in that role for another term."

Jay Pagni, a spokesman for Governor Corbett, says there hasn't been a final decision on whether Mutchler will be re-appointed.

In the past few years, the Office of Open Records has earned praise from news media organizations for keeping disputes over government documents out of the courts.

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