State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Wolf admin and PA GOP bring feud over McGinty emails to court

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Sep 14, 2016 2:03 AM

Democratic US Senate contender Katie McGinty spent six months as Governor Tom Wolf's chief of staff. (Photo by AP)

(Harrisburg) -- Another chapter has unfolded quietly in the drawn-out battle over emails Democratic US Senate candidate Katie McGinty sent and received during her brief stint as Governor Tom Wolf's chief of staff.

The Pennsylvania Republican Party filed a Right-to-Know request with Wolf's office last July, after McGinty resigned.

It asked for access to her emails and her work calendar, and launched a year's worth of squabbling between the GOP and the administration.

The Office of Open Records ruled last December the governor's office was justified in not releasing certain emails, but noted others should have been disclosed. Those latter emails are the ones currently under contention.

Open Records Executive Director Eric Arneson says in court, a key point will be whether the GOP's request was too general.

"That issue generally, of specificity, is one that the office of open records has wrestled with, and courts have wrestled with since the right to know law was enacted," he said. "I think that is inevitable."

Arneson added he hasn't "seen anything from either side that makes me think there's anything at play here, other than an honest disagreement over exactly what needs to be released, whether the request itself was specific enough up front."

The governor's office said it has responded to 40 total Right-to-Know requests involving McGinty, and has released 4,500 pages of records.

The state GOP didn't return a request for comment.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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