RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- A controversial bill that has local roots and sought to exempt administrative records of the judiciary from Virginia’s public records law has been withdrawn by its sponsor.
Sen. Richard Stuart, R-Stafford, moved to strike his bill from the Senate floor Wednesday.
The bill said the Supreme Court’s Office of the Executive Secretary would be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.
A district court judge last year found that the office violated FOIA by not responding to letters from a citizen who wants access to records of the office’s long-distance phone calls and expense accounts used by judges.
Advocates of open government opposed Stuart’s bill, saying it could make it impossible for the public to obtain records related to judicial contracts, criminal justice reforms or office expenditures.
The bill was introduced following attempts by Dr. William H. Turner of Melfa to attain information about the cost of operating the judicial system in Virginia.