Ruling: DEMA didn’t violate FOIA law


DOVER — A state agency provided all the paperwork available on a Sussex County police department’s participation in a federal government surplus program, authorities ruled last week.

Craig O’Donnell believed the Delaware Emergency Management Agency improperly withheld requested records of inventory received by Dewey Beach Police from the feds, but Deputy Attorney General LaKresha S. Roberts affirmed that no such documents existed.

Thus, Mr. O’Donnell’s Freedom of Information Act complaint against DEMA was ruled to be meritless.

“As FOIA does not require DEMA to create records that do not exist, it is my determination that DEMA did not violate FOIA as alleged,” Ms. Roberts concluded.

Mr. O’Donnell sought information on what excess property Dewey Beach Police received from the United States Department of Defense, and state official Kimberly Chandler sent a link to the Law Enforcement Support Office’s online list of inventory requested. The state doesn’t keep a database for those records, it said. Mr. O’Donnell described his request as “cross checking” between the state and federal government lists. He sought clarification on how the received property would be used for counter-drug, “counter-terrorism or border security.”

Ms. Chandler of the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security did provide the requested State Plan of Operation between the state and Dewey Police, the AG’s opinion noted.

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