Colman M. Herman

Guest Contributor

Stories by Colman M. Herman

Healey: Governor not subject to public records law

Healey: Governor not subject to public records law

Rejects Boston Globe request for documents

ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY  ruled on Friday that the office of the governor is not subject to the Massachusetts public records law, confirming the long-standing position of Gov. Charlie Baker and his predecessors. “We conclude that documents in the possession of the governor or the governor’s office are not records that must be disclosed under(...)

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After 11 months, unpaid tolls hit $32m

After 11 months, unpaid tolls hit $32m

Amount owed includes $14.3m in late fees

DRIVERS WITHOUT E-ZPASS transponders racked up $32 million in unpaid tolls and late fees during the first 11 months of all-electronic tolling on all toll roads in Massachusetts. The $32 million consists of $16.6 million in actual tolls, $14.3 million in late fees, and $1.1 million in administrative fees accrued for the period from November(...)

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State: Wellesley can ignore public records request

State: Wellesley can ignore public records request

First-of-its-kind ruling cites harassment clause

THE STATE’S SUPERVISOR OF PUBLIC RECORDS for the first time has allowed a governmental entity to ignore a citizen’s bid for documents because the request was a form of harassment or intimidation. The ruling by Rebecca Murray dealt with Wellesley resident Ronald Alexander, who has filed more than 200 public records requests with the town(...)

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Diversity data gaps

Diversity data gaps

Surprisingly, some state agencies don't track their minority hiring

EVERY YEAR, THE governor’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity publishes a detailed report on the diversity of the workforce at each of the executive branch secretariats, now numbering nine. But many other parts of state government —the constitutional officers, the Legislature, the judiciary, and the various state authorities—rarely, if ever, release any diversity data(...)

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Does web browsing leave a public record?

Does web browsing leave a public record?

Dispute with Baker administration heads to Healey

THE STATE’S SUPERVISOR of public records says a state employee’s web browsing history is a public record, and has asked Attorney General Maura Healey to order the Baker administration to turn the information over to a reporter. The case represents another attempt by state officials to determine what a public record is in an increasingly(...)

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Walsh plays hardball at Quincy Market

Walsh plays hardball at Quincy Market

Mayor seeks to redo lease for higher return

BOSTON MAYOR MARTY WALSH is trying to play hardball with the company that owns the lease on Faneuil Hall Marketplace. City officials and heavily redacted emails obtained under the Public Records Law confirm that the city, which owns the marketplace, is attempting to renegotiate the terms of the lease, which dates back to 1975 and(...)

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Public records harassment tough sell

Public records harassment tough sell

Enforcement rare on statute aimed to give communities relief

WELLESLEY RESIDENT RONALD ALEXANDER seems to be exactly the sort of guy lawmakers had in mind when they included a harassment provision in the new Public Records Law. Alexander has filed more than 200 public records requests with Wellesley since 2013. He has filed 162 requests with the school department and school committee, 40 with(...)

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Authorities offer financial help to state

Authorities offer financial help to state

3 agencies provide $69.5m for deficit effort

Gov. Charlie Baker is asking some of the state’s independent authorities for help in balancing the fiscal 2017 budget, but it appears only three have stepped forward. The Massachusetts Development Finance Agency agreed to provide $17.5 million and the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency is contributing $5 million, for a total of $22.5 million. The MBTA(...)

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Tracking assisted living ‘incidents’

Tracking assisted living ‘incidents’

Half of reports were filed late with state

Massachusetts assisted living facilities reported 305 cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation involving residents in 2015 – and half of the reports were filed late. Reports are supposed to be filed with state officials within 24 hours of the incident, but the data indicate 155 came in late. Most came in fairly quickly after the(...)

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Baker public records stance referred to Healey

Baker public records stance referred to Healey

Galvin’s office urges AG to compel governor’s compliance

THE STATE’S SUPERVISOR OF PUBLIC RECORDS said Gov. Charlie Baker failed to comply with an administrative order to produce documents and referred the matter to Attorney General Maura Healey for action. The referral to Healey’s office marks a new direction for the public records office, which reports to Secretary of State William Galvin. Baker and(...)

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