Screenshots from a dash cam video showing James Edward Cicco / photo via official court motions in the case

A dash cam video showing an incident involving a Beaver Borough Police K-9 was played again in open court last week, and yet again the Beaver Countian has been sent around in circles while attempting to obtain a copy for you to view. These back-door antics by county officials have amounted to a procedurally perverse kind of bumfuckery which must not be permitted to prevail over Beaver County’s criminal courts.

The Beaver Countian was in the courtroom on Tuesday of last week for a pretrial hearing where a police dash cam video depicting the August 2016 arrest of James Edward Cicco was played in open court by his defense attorney. The same video had been played in open court by prosecutors in a September 2016 preliminary hearing for the case.

On the video shown in court, Beaver Patrolman Jeffrey Wijen-riems was seen sending his police K-9 Czar to attack a man in a car who he had an encounter with; the video shows Czar again biting into the man as he lay on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back. In both instances, the dog is seen refusing to let go of its grasp on Cicco, with Wijen-riems pulling at the dog’s collar apparently attempting to unclench its jaws.

James Cicco was hospitalize for three days as a result of the flesh of his chest being ripped from his body by Czar during the encounter. The K-9 remains on active duty with the Beaver Police Department; an investigation conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police concluded there was no criminal wrongdoing by Officer Wijen-Riems. Cicco is awaiting trial on charges which include allegations that after first being bitten by Czar, he “taunted” the animal by intentionally kicking it while being handcuffed by Wijen-riems — actions which are not readily visible on the video shown in court. Cicco is also being prosecuted for allegedly resisting arrest after — not before — Wijen-riems ordered Czar to attack the man for the first time.

The Beaver Countian believes you should not be forced to rely on our description of what is on that dash cam video from last August; as a member of the public you have a right to see for yourself the incident involving James Cicco, Officer Wijen-riems, and his K-9 partner Czar. This publication has been working since last September to obtain a copy for you to view — avoiding the filing of litigation against public officials as part of these efforts. Fundamentally, the Beaver Countian believes public records such as this should be obtainable by any citizen, not just by entities which have access to teams of attorneys from major law firms.

Our efforts to obtain a copy of the video began on the day it was first shown in court by the District Attorney’s Office. Immediately following the September 2016 hearing, the Beaver Countian met with the Court Administrator’s Office, asking what the rules or procedures were to obtain a copy of an exhibit shown as part of a preliminary hearing in Beaver County. We were told there were no rules, no procedures, and that the Court Administrator’s Office knew of no way for the press to obtain access to a copy of the record.

The Beaver Countian subsequently filed a Right-to-Know request on September 21st with the District Attorney’s Office seeking a copy of the exhibit. The District Attorney’s Office denied that request in a letter to the Beaver Countian dated that same day, stating the video exhibit which had been played in open court was exempt from disclosure because it was now an “investigative file” (it was not by current legal definition ever an investigative file to begin with).

The District Attorney’s Office directed the Beaver Countian to appeal their denial to the Pennsylvania Open Records Office, which was also done on September 21st. Nearly one month later, on October 18th, the Open Records Office issued their response: The District Attorney’s Office was wrong to instruct the Beaver Countian to appeal to the Open Records Office, the appeal should instead be directed to the District Attorney’s own internal appeals officer.

The Beaver Countian contacted the District Attorney’s Office, asking for a copy of its rules or procedures for filing appeals to their office so this publication could proceed appropriately. We were told there were no rules, no procedures for us to follow.

The Beaver Countian then met with District Attorney Lozier and members of his staff (including his appeals officer) on November 14th. The appeals officer directed that parties could file briefs with him by December 2nd and that he would make a decision soon after. As the Pennsylvania Open Records Act dictates that records are presumed to be public, the Beaver Countian was under no obligation to prove why the document should be released, rather, the burdened was with the District Attorney to demonstrate why the video should be kept secret. The Beaver Countian elected against filing a brief and waited for a decision by the District Attorney’s appeals officer.

On December 20th, the Beaver Countian received an email from District Attorney David Lozier, asking if we were going to file a brief as part of our appeal. We replied we were not. He asked if we wanted to proceed forward with the appeal. We replied that we did. He asked if we intended to take him to court if his own appeals officer ruled the video should be withheld. We replied that we would.

The Beaver Countian then waited… and waited… and waited.

Over three months later, the Beaver Countian again contacted the District Attorney’s Office last week to get a status on our appeal. We were told the District Attorney’s Office never submitted a brief to their own appeals officer, never asked him to make a decision about whether the video should be released or not. The District Attorney’s Office informed the Beaver Countian last week that they will just now be filing a brief and will finally be asking their internal appeals officer to issue a ruling. There is no indication on when that decision may come.

The Beaver Countian asked the District Attorney’s Office if, in the elapsed months, it had established any rules or policies on how appeals were to be conducted by their office. We were told there are still no procedures in place for us (or them) to follow.

Bumfuckery.

At the conclusion of last Tuesday’s hearing on pretrial motions in the Cicco case, the Beaver Countian stood up in open court and informed Judge Dale Fouse that the Court Administrator’s Office has said they knew of no local rules or procedures on how the media could gain access to exhibits shown in open court. The Beaver Countian respectfully asked the judge how the public should proceed to gain such access to the video exhibit just played in his courtroom. Judge Fouse said he would get back to us with an answer to that question. He has not.

Bumfuckery.

The Beaver Countian then went down to the Clerk of Court’s Office asking if they were in possession of the exhibit as it had now been presented in the Court of Common Pleas. We were told by a clerk that they did not know, their office would get back to us. Clerk of Courts Judy Enslen called back later that same day saying her office had the exhibit, but as it was a digital video file, she and her staff did not have the technical abilities required to make a copy of it (it is common practice in Beaver County that any citizen can visit the Clerk of Court’s Office and inspect case records and all files contained within under the watchful eye of staff — records filed with the Clerk of Court can be copied for a small fee). Enslen told the Beaver Countian she would call back after asking around about how to proceed with copying the digital record. She has not.

Bumfuckery.

This video was shown in open court by both the prosecution and defense, attached by reference to legal briefs submitted by both a prosecutor and defense attorney, and was provided by the District Attorney’s Office directly to a judge presiding over motions in the case (apparently via some kind of ad hoc process). The judge is currently relying on the contents of that video in making a decision on whether or not to dismiss certain charges pending against the defendant in the case.

There should be no need to file a motion with the court asking for this video to be released and there should be no need to file litigation to obtain a copy either (neither the prosecution nor defense ever filed a court motion asking a judge to have exhibits sealed).

It should be noted at this point that these bizarre attempts at obfuscation are not reserved solely for the news media. In a profound act of obtuseness, the Solicitor for Beaver Borough and the Beaver Police Department has asserted that the criminal defendant in this matter, James Cicco, should be directed by the court to file a Right-to-Know request for potentially exculpatory evidence in his own case. In open court last Tuesday, Beaver’s Solicitor said he would then be denying that open records request (before it has even been filed) under the very same “investigative files” exemption being claimed by the District Attorney’s Office.

The only real question in this entire embarrassing display of local “governance” is this one: Why?

Throughout this process the Beaver Countian has intentionally attempted to achieve access to these public records in a manner that any citizen may undertake, repeatedly asking the simple questions, “What are the local procedures? What are your policies? What would you have us do?”

Unfortunately, this publication is instead being forced to transit a circular road far too well traveled by those seeking transparency in local government; once again we find ourselves being compelled to rely on attorneys and explore ways to straighten the path through legal remedies available in state and federal courts.

Things are not as they should be. Bumfuckery indeed.

Screenshots from a dash cam video showing James Edward Cicco being bitten while handcuffed / photo via official court motions in the case
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John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

73 COMMENTS

    • Because they use dogs to do their dirty work, and we, the people, allow them to get away with it.

      A dog is not a hero. It is a peaceful animal that cops train to attack and maul and maim people. People that are allegedly innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, not by a vigilante on the side of a road.

      But, let YOUR dog simply look at a cop cross-eyed, and they’ll shoot it dead.

      And your courts will justify it.

      Your internal affairs board will see nothing wrong.

      The problem is not the police. It’s the judges and attorneys that either sweep it under the rug or blatantly lie to the public and let them get away with it.

      And we stand idly by while they act superior to the citizens, legally lying to is to force us to incriminate ourselves.

       
  1. Bumfuckery it is!
    I do not believe there are any procedures in place in any of the offices! I have has very similar situations occur … and no procedures. Whatta bunch O clowns!
    And let it be known, the same K9 group is now going to be shaking down the students in the Beaver Schools, during school. Maybe the parents should be concerned. Maybe we should really know what is on that tape …
    http://filecabinet2.eschoolview.com/63C7723A-F054-4993-9A67-03C471AD1998/Misc%20pdf's/Board%20Policy%20226.1.pdf

     
    • They are all garbage the 10% of the good officers and those that work in the courthouse either go along with that corrupt filth or they have no job. If these criminals didn’t have badges and guns and the illusion of policeman and they treated you and the citizens of Beaver County the way they do what would you realy do.

       
  2. I guess many people have never heard of Internal Affairs. The State police had a good guy that was out of the moon barracks. The FBI have a good unit in Quantico Va. There are ethics,not everyone uses them.

     
  3. I wonder if the District Attorney’s findings in the ongoing Treasurer’s saga will be made public, or is the case already closed as far as he is concerned..misdemeanor, Not Guilty.

     
  4. JP why don’t you have the attorneys that represent you file that brief on your behalf? File a complaint with the Open records office in Harrisburg. As much as I know you don’t want to, contact a major media outlet. They are stalling you and they are waiting for the guy to take a plea for a lessor charge so this will all go away.

     
  5. Tina Marie Walden Smith, please do not post on my wall from this Garbage site. I am not a member of it for a reason. I’d appreciate it if you would remove my name from anything to do with this farce of a site. Thanks.

     
  6. a dog in the hands of a handler who has no control, or limited control, is a danger to the entire community/county. wait until it happens to someone who is not deemed a criminal. then, lets see how it plays out then.

     
  7. I’m sorry but I can’t support a news source that states how powerful it’s lawyers are and uses the term “bumfuckery” linking an urban dictionary definition….

     
    • @Tyler…..Whoa there a minute on putting down urbandictionary….Mungo’s go to source! Bumfuckery= utter futile uselessness, such wanton disregard for logic as to render silent all within ears shot of the event! Can you come up with a better description of the antics they are playing against JP, and the peoples right to know? Probably not. But that’s ok just let others do all the work in trying to make these County employees accountable to the taxpayers while you sit there offended by a simple term, and where it’s derived. If ignorance is bliss Tyler, Mungo just has to ask….is the back window of the bus flavored?!?

       
    • Let’s break down your statement.
      “I”m sorry but I can’t support a news source”
      Support? You obviously read it, and took the time to comment. Fail.

      “that states how powerful it’s lawyers are….”
      This site has had the need to retain council, likely Pro bono, and has promoted the non profit that defended it. At no point do I recall reading how “powerful” they are, only an overview of who they are and what they do. Oh and they won, so there’s that.

      and uses the term “bumfuckery” linking an urban dictionary definition….
      You do know the difference between news and an editorial right? Do you know of another news site that covers the corruption within the courthouse? A quick glance at your fb page might lead a rational person to doubt that you were deeply offended. Since you didn’t actually provide the link here’s the definition:
      bumfuckery
      Noun.
      1. Pure, unadulterated stupidity. Daftness of a magnitude that shocks beyond words. Total and complete lack of reason. Utter futile uselessness. Such wanton disregard for logic as to render silent all within earshot of the event.

      There are rare circumstances when only a vulgarity is adequate to express an idea or thought. I happen to agree that this is one of them. Willful retardation might also have worked, but I’m quite certain that would have upset a great many snowflakes as well.

       
  8. In my opinion:

    This whole matter is not solely about Wijen-riems and his dog, is it? Actually, most of what happened is already “known”, so that becomes almost irrelevant, doesn’t it?

    Then, the question that is begged is “Why?” And, historically “Why?” For more than the last ten years?

    Who gains, and why, from a “coverup” or “stonewalling?”

    I submit that the answer to that could go deep. And wide. And the answer might come from a line of dominoes falling backward.

     
    • In my opinion:

      Ask “Who has what on whom?”, starting with the cop, and you might get some answers. What do they GAIN by protecting him? This is not a legal matter. It is a protection racket run by friends. As we saw during the Sheriff trial, ALL of these guys are connected, friends, workmates, family, and they go back many years, across town boundaries and through families. And as in the Sheriff trial, they will lie, perjure, divert and undermine anyone who gets in their way. John Paul is being stonewalled and subverted by an organization of closely-knit people, and it doesn’t matter whether someone was attacked by a dog or caught waving a gun in the air — these people protect their own, and they and the offenders in their “gang” gain by it, if only to work another day.

       
  9. A few years ago, I filed a RTK request with the county regarding a phone call that was placed to the 911 center, non emergency. They did the same thing to me. Denied the request claiming that communications to the 911 center were exempt under the RTK law. They pick and choose what they want to release, their decisions is not based on law! Also, there are some pretty stupid comments on here. I love how all the “attorneys” come out of the closet even before the facts have been made public.

     
    • The “facts” you refer to are irrelevant. The issue behind the whole damn case is institutional, systemic obstruction. And corruption. The video could be released with a play-by-play by the cop himself, and nothing more would be done. He’s golden. He leads a charmed life. He will go on to attack another day. He has for ten years. Focus on who is protecting him. That is your story.

       
      • In my humble opinion:

        The bumfuckery could not happen without talk among the people sharing the fucking of bums. Someone is — or all are — running around like Paul Revere shouting that JP is coming by land and sea. From the office mendicants to the dog, a “coordination” of effort would have to be operant for the reactions that JP is allegedly running into. Different labels on the doors, but only one bed in the bedroom.

         
      • Raven, The “facts” that I am referring to quite possibly are not in favor of the officer. Did you consider that prior to commenting that they are irrelevant? I was referring to the comments regarding things like, “he should have stayed in the car”, etc. When you’re ordered, or dragged, out of a car, it’s pretty hard to stay in the car. I agree with 99.9% of your comments, just for the record.

         
  10. It looks like JP was giving them enough rope to hang themselves with!
    It looks like he was building a case!

     
    • Yes. I agree JP was documenting all of this so he can prove people were acting in bad faith. Stonewall Lozier strikes again! One and done Stonewall one and done!

       
  11. Tall lanky New Brighton douche…. Check

    Behavioral sucky tennis player…….Check

    Get act 120 ….. Check

    Get your employer sued numerous times…. Check

    While running around cake eating beaver acting like lunatic cop with horribly trained k9…. Check

    Sadly many lawsuits and officers go through hell from filth suing and dealing with councils and supervisors bitching.

    Then there is this numerous times with a head in the sand approach from council for the most part being misdirected from its department leadership for years.

     
  12. Whoooa…. here’s that dead horse again! If you want your head to spin look at local municipal government. That’ll be a full time assignment.

     
  13. While I respect the job low enforcement does I honestly believe there are a lot of bad ones that no one does anything about. They are a criminal element unto themselves with total disregard for ethics, morality or the law. This is aided and abetted by the communities where they reign terror on the citizens. Until such time as the honest police clean up their departments the public will have contempt for them and the badge. Respect is earned but not just by placing a gun and badge on a criminal. They are still criminals but now they can deal dope, shake people down and let their out of control dogs maul people. Before you right wing lunatics go off, even a criminal has rights under the constitution and due process through the Bill of Rights. If we turn a blind eye to injustice we are all as guilty as the thugs in blue. Officer Nazi wannabe is a walking poster child for what I speak of. I hope Beaver and their corrupt Chief and council has a lot of money for this big ass lawsuit and many more in the future.

     
    • Beaver Beaver falls Aliquippa The sheriffs Dept. The people of Beaver County are abused and repressed by these halfe assed wanna be gangsters. protect the public your a corrupt joke. Running around in your tight ass uniforms. your a laughing stock. At the very least wear uniforms that fit you look like a bunch of oversized little girls dressed in leotards with badges.

       
  14. Delay, delay, delay – Deny, deny, deny – Lie, lie, lie – Repeat, repeat, repeat.
    Beaver County at it’s finest.
    Bunch of corrupt SOB’s.

     
  15. Correction: Beaver’s lackey Council does not have the stones or the brains to be corrupt. They leave that to the master.

     
    • One main constant in the Wijnen-Riems controversy has been Dan Madgar. Chief Anthony Hovanec — a good man and cop with integrity — missed his opportunity to fire the uncontrolled cop in the last couple of years he was on the job eleven or twelve years ago. As the next chief, Madgar picked up the defense of his friend Wijnen-Riems and carried it for the next ten years, from problem to problem, lawsuit to lawsuit. So, Madgar becomes the problem, not Wijnen-Riems. Remove the dual role Chief/Manager, and you have no problem. Of course, Beaver has a figurehead mayor, a solicitor that does what he is told, and a Council that is more interested in trees, barking dogs and their reputations. So, it will continue, unless Council reverses the ultimate debacle of giving Madgar a dual job — a job in which he is safe and invulnerable, a sweet deal sweeter than the candy store next door. Even a lawsuit about W-R would just get passed on to the insurance company, as before, and the community would not even feel the effects of it. Madgar’s counterpart in obfuscation is Lozier, who is controlled, not controlling. But, I don’t want to go there. Until next election.

       
      • Raven I said it before. Madgar is the problem. I’ve known the ass for decades. I even got moderated for one of the comments I made about his nefarious activities. There are absolutely no checks and balances in Beaver borough government. He’s the chief and borough manager. The borough is certainly profiting from the contracts he made with the other communities to provide police services. Once again you cannot check that because he has control over the time sheets. He can make up what ever he wants to make the numbers jive. The shit has got to stop.

         
  16. It’s Amateur Hour once again in Beaver County. Don’t worry JP, Lozier has been delayed in his response because he has his Detectives investigating who is actually his “appeals officer”. I still have hard time feeling bad for white trash though. In saying that, a poorly trained Police dog and Police officer is a hazard to us all. At the very least, the dog should be removed from service if it wont release a bite upon command.

     
    • @Amateur Hour :At the very least, the dog should be removed from service if it wont release a bite upon command. …. and the Officer in Charge ?

       
      • It’s Amateur Hour once again in Beaver County. Wanda, like most professional jobs, there is a process has to run its course in order to have a professional removed from service. An animal doesn’t have the same processes. There was a criminal investigation conducted that revealed nothing so you have to more. If it can be proved in court that he lied on his criminal complaint when the facts are presented during trial, then he’d be gone.

         
  17. I tell ANYONE who will listen,”Leave Beaver County or suffer the consequences!” The lies,deceit and corruption have existed for ages.It’s a rotten to the core ‘Good Ol’ Boy’ network of people in the Police Dept’s,Courthouse,Jail and all elsewhere.

     
  18. Compare 911 calls and radio traffic to the Times paper Police and fire. Only communities they want to report drug activity and bad news in get reported. It’s all set up. I know. But your pushed away or given cap to find truth. Seriously, this county caters to the few.

     
  19. Criminals. Sadistic behavior. Think about those words for a long minute. Especially the two assholes who are religiously hitting the down thumbs in every comment. Some people are supporting and protecting criminal — and SADISTIC — behavior. That’s right. Not only did a cop egregiously violate a man’s rights, but he fucking LAUGHED about it with a 911 dispatcher. That, my friends, is SADISM. And protecting that behavior is a wanton disregard for what makes us uniquely human. Even animals in the jungle are unsettled and shied away when one of their own is harmed. So, continue protecting and excusing and abetting this cop’s behavior, but you are no less guilty of an assault against humanity itself. You, and the Marquis de Sade, have much in common, and it would be a fitting end if your heads, like de Sade’s, eventually were set on pikes at the town limits, greeting visitors as they enter. That way, people might wake up to realizing that something is wrong in Mayberry, and that the Cake Eaters might just be fine with eating your beating hearts, too.

     
  20. I agree with several of the comments. This county is pathetic, if you want news get a scanner because at least half , if not more, NEVER makes the B C Times. 75 percent of the time this newspaper is useless. Most people look to the Obits first to check on old friend then to the sports page. But really is foul language necessary to make your point?

     
    • Yes, Mary Ann Yonlisky Irwin, foul language is necessary at times. At least for me. I can choose nice, inoffensive, elegant language that flows off my tongue like warm honey, or, I can choose to use language that fits the putrid, projectile offal that characterizes some people’s behavior upon others. I can choose. Some cannot. Some don’t want to. The emotive force gained behind swearing is something we have had since cavemen grunted sounds to match the feces coming out of the animals on their walls, directed against enemies. Sometimes, we should thank them for giving us the idea of doing so, because, quite frankly, it is the only thing some of these perps understand.

      A case in point: It is hard to not characterize this cop as anything but an asshole. Nothing else works as well. An asshole. literal, fictional, figurative, an asshole.

      Ah, now I feel better.

       
  21. Here is something a little more tangible. A mailing from the Beaver Valley Chiefs of Police Association was recently made to county residents. It asks for $50, $75, $100 or another amount. During the Sheriff’s trial, a couple of Chiefs of Police came to David’s defense and even skewed the testimony in favor of him with conveniently faulty memories. Now, a police chief protects and harbors a cop who has done some really bad stuff, for over ten years.

    Why would anyone give one fucking dime to an organization that overlooks and excuses people who do these things with impunity and even allows them to remain members?

     
  22. I ran into not dissimilar issues early this 2017 when requesting courthouse video and regulations, rules, statements of policy, manuals, procedures, and so on, which the sheriffs perform. The only thing is, I largely won the several appeals, and now both the Sheriff and County has taken it to the Court of Common Pleas. What they don’t seem to realize is that they are putting themselves at risk for a civil penalty of up to $1500 per docket no. for denials in bad faith, $500 a day for defying orders to give me records, and, should I resort to an attorney, I would generate lawyers fees and court costs.
    Beaver Countian, your mistake is waiting, and letting persons inform you of any process that exists outside the strictures of the law, right-to-know or otherwise. You feel into a waiting trap, but the RTKL doesn’t provide for it. Generally, 30 days is a deemed denial, and it goes to the next ALJ/court above. In OOR handoffs to the DA, or those strange concurrent OOR/DA appeals because for some reason the DA needs to determine whether something is criminal investigative information, the DA appeals officer(s) can’t ignore those orders. Their appeals officers are subject to the same time constraints as the OOR, I believe.
    Why is this defendant being told to resort to the RTK process to obtain evidence? What is going on with discovery? Not obtaining it that way means either the DA failed to perform due diligence, of that he or his lawyer failed to make discovery requests and motions to compel, appropriate to the case. Could he or his lawyer, if he has one, obtain the video through discovery? Then it could be disseminated unless the Commonwealth obtains a protective order. I suggest pushing the Clerk of Courts for a copy. It’s a file on a computer or a disc. Just show her how to copy the damn file. It will probably help if you can find an attorney to say the words and click the file and the copy button or whatever. If the Clerk isn’t in custody of the exhibits you can always try the Court Reporters. He could also subpoena the records, duces tecum, and then arrange with the recordholder to review and copy the video ahead of the subpoena/hearing, perhaps to obviate the future summoning to court.
    You may be better off negotiating and walking through a right-to-know request with the Agency officers before placing it, than to attempt to negotiate terms or outcomes once the filing has been made. This way, you can design your request (and appeal(s) if necessary) according to exactly their dictates and desires (assuming they near lawfulness.) If they clam up and won’t work with you, strictly follow the RTKL and the polices promulgated on the OOR website. Let the 30 days pass and escalate, skipping those useless people. Make note of their nonfeasance and file criminal complaints for Refusal or Neglect to Do Duties, under the County Code — its a misdemeanor that is misbehavior in office, subjecting the defendant to removal from office upon conviction, and because it prescribes nothing more than a max $500 fine, heads of department are subject to respondat superior / ultra vires / vicarious liability, that is, failure to arrange their procedures and those in employ in such a manner to meet the duties prescribed of the officer by law for that office.
    You can’t let the stuff slide.
    Now, various appeals have been stayed, waiting on PSP v. Grove to be resolved by the Supreme Court. The wait has been long, just see docket 25 MAP 2016. The last event was oral argument, on Sep 14, 2016. This kind of wait for an order/opinion or other activity is not unheard of, with these appellate courts.
    I’m rather tired of the abuse of the criminal and noncriminal investigative exceptions. Right behind them are the Homeland Security and Pennsylvania Security exceptions. These officials will cling to anything to keep their activities from the public’s eye, so that they might better be aware of whats going on, and be encouraged to better vote, run for office, confront crime and prosecute crime. How can we make voluntary, intelligent, knowing choices of self-determination when all which may sway us never meets our minds and our reason?
    It’s gotten so bad that solicitors for these Agencies will write libelous hitpieces that deal less in exceptions than just defaming the shit out of someone. “This person is too horrible of a person to receive records.” Well, that’s not an exception. Purpose or intended use cannot be delved into or surmised unless provided by law. What they do is nasty enough to call for civil contempt sanctions in the case, discipline with the Professional Disciplinary Board, and even criminal charges such as for official oppression.
    What I can suggest is working together to coordinate RTK requests and appeals. For example, if you and I seek the same general subject matter, we can tend to craft our writings similarly, or purposely create disparity. You can take notice of how each appeals officer is dealing with cases and adjust appropriately (I’m seeing completely contradictory outcomes, myself.) So, if we tailor our writings as teams, we’re likely to push the boulder of precedent with a better control and focus, and to keep upping those civil penalties payable to us as the bad faith stacks up over and over again.
    Eventually, officials and taxpayers learn.

     

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