Exactly five full weeks ago, the day before David Hansen resigned from his post at the Ohio Department of Education after it was discovered that he withheld damaging charter school ratings from charter sponsor evaluations, we requested copies of his emails – both those he sent and those he received regarding the evaluations.
Despite the fact that those emails were supposedly reviewed internally at ODE, we have yet to receive a response.
Eleven days later, on July 28, we requested emails sent and received by Superintendent Dick Ross concerning the “Youngstown Plan” that he secretly (and illegally) helped craft out of the public eye – including hiding his activities from his direct employers – the State Board of Education.
Now, just over three weeks later, we have yet to receive those emails either.
According to ODE’s Assistant Legal Counsel, Immy Singh, “…the law requires a state agency to make copies available “in a reasonable amount of time.” (ORC 149.43(B)(1)). The reasonableness of the time taken in each case depends on the facts and circumstances of the particular request, which includes identification of responsive records, location & retrieval, review analysis and redaction, preparation, and delivery.”
Knowing that we are not the only entity seeking these emails, and hearing from Dick Ross himself that Hansen’s emails were “already reviewed”(thus readily available), it leaves us wondering what, exactly, these emails truly contain and what discussions are occurring behind the scenes at ODE to try to explain away the mess that Ross has gotten himself into.
Rest assured, PB readers, as soon as ODE complies with the law and releases the evidence “in a reasonable amount of time“, we will bring it to you.
With each passing day, we’re left to wonder what these “public” officials are hiding.