Colman M. Herman

Guest Contributor

Stories by Colman M. Herman

Lawmakers refuse to release records

Lawmakers refuse to release records

Governor, courts met some requests despite exemption

THE LEGISLATURE, THE GOVERNOR, and the judiciary are all exempt in one way or another from the state’s Public Records Law, but the governor and the judiciary sometimes voluntarily comply with requests for information. By contrast, lawmakers take the view that their records are off-limits to the public. CommonWealth tested the willingness of officials from(...)

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Inspirational talks are not cheap

Inspirational talks are not cheap

Big names demand big bucks for community college speaker series

EX-NBA SUPERSTAR KAREEM Abdul-Jabbar gave a speech at Bunker Hill Community College last October — not on how to shoot his patented skyhook, but on the weighty subject of “Islam: Misrepresented, Misunderstood, and Maligned in the United States.” The speech was part of a series that is designed to serve as inspiration for Bunker Hill(...)

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On records, State Police all about delay

On records, State Police all about delay

Agency routinely rejects requests, loses on appeal

THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE are not a big fan of transparency, as the agency’s policy on public records seems to be all about delay. The State Police regularly redact documents or withhold them in their entirety from public view. The approach results in a voluminous amount of public records appeals being filed against the agency(...)

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Trump makes it easier to not pay interns

Trump makes it easier to not pay interns

New rules still subjective, but far more flexible

The Trump administration just made it a lot easier for for-profit employers to legally benefit from the work of interns and not have to pay them, according to new rules released recently by the US Department of Labor. This comes after several legal challenges were filed against the previous set of six rules adopted by(...)

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UMass Boston’s Dr. Evil

UMass Boston’s Dr. Evil

Interim chancellor acknowledged controversial cuts

“I AM NOW Dr. Evil,” said Barry Mills after it was reported that he planned to shut down the daycare center at the University of Massachusetts Boston as part of an effort to rein in costs at the campus. Brought in as interim chancellor to right the university’s finances, Mills made the comment in an(...)

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DAs differ on expense approaches

DAs differ on expense approaches

No pattern or guide on office spending

AS A GROUP, the 11 district attorneys in Massachusetts are not big spenders when it comes to dining out or traveling on the state’s dime. But within the group, there are some wide variations. Overall, the district attorneys spent $67,012 over the course of a year on trips, meals, and related expenses, according to records(...)

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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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