Commonwealth court upholds ‘right to know’ request despite format

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court has ruled the government should honor “right to know” requests — even if those don’t ask for it the right way.

Back in 2009, Eastern Pennsylvania Citizens Against Gambling sent an email to the Pennsylvania Gaming Board seeking financial information about the application to put a casino in Valley Forge. When the request never got an official response, Jim Schneller took that as a denial and appealed.

“So here we are, we’re dealing with three different fairly helpful arms of the Gaming Control Board, none of them a ‘right to know ‘officer,” he said. “So we found out, when it came to a point of contention, that we were instantly labeled not a ‘right to know’ request.”

No response was given because Schneller and the group never presented a properly formatted request, citing the “right to know” law.

The Commonwealth Court has ruled the requests don’t have to cite the “right to know law” and can’t be ignored just because they aren’t in the official format.

Schneller says he is still fighting the casino and hopes the records he will receive will help.

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