Archive for the ‘Kentucky’ Category
The governor of Alabama signed an executive order that creates an online database of all state government spending and legislators’ relationships with lobbyists. This will go online later this year, but many other states have already made available government spending, salary and revenue databases, often in a site dedicated to issues of transparency in government.
Open Georgia includes a searchable database of state employees and their salaries.
South Carolina gathers together links to their various online databases including, state expenditures and salaries.
Transparency rankings and states with spending online are listed at Sunshine Review.
Legislation, citizen activism and current news on state government transparency can be found at the Center for Fiscal Accountability.
Juror names and jury questionnaires are public records and subject to disclosure even if a trial judge has made promises to the contrary. At least in North Dakota. A ruling by that state’s Supreme Court, cited by the Associated Press, rebuffed a trial court’s claim that the records in one case were sealed out of fear that the jurors could be harassed.
“We conclude those reasons, by themselves, are insufficient to rebut the presumption of openness and to warrant a blanket closure in this case…”
Court rulings may seem like a bouncing ball when it comes to privacy, public records and electronic messaging. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has asserted that companies do not have an automatic right to access employees’ text messages if the data is stored on outside servers. Read more about this decision and the significance for privacy and data management. Some other news stories on email access and public records can be found at WikiFOIA.
Maybe it’s a trend in the refinement of the sex offender databases and regulation of where registered sex offenders can live.Tennessee has joined Indiana (see this court ruling on the Indiana law), Missouri, Kentucky and Alaska requiring registered sex offenders submit their email addresses, which are being added to those state online databases. States can’t keep track of the physical location of registrants so the email address disclosure may not be of much value to public safety.
The Kentucky Courts have implemented a case tracking system in 17 counties in concert with VINELink. Search a case by name in the Kentucky Courts index and select the VINELink icon to view the next court date, listed at the VINELink site. You can then register to receive telephone or email notification when the defendant’s court event status changes.
The VINE Court feature expands the detention status tracking, the primary site feature, to include those offenders who are not incarcerated but whose cases are still active. Also, you can perform a partial, last name only search at the Kentucky Court site, whereas the same search at VINELink requires a full last name and partial first name. Anyway, you can search for a non-custody defendant’s court status only from the Kentucky Court site. If you try to do the search from the VINELink site you’ll get, “No offenders matching your criteria were found!”.
The online versions of mainstream newspapers continue to distinguish themselves by collecting public records, then making them searchable in a database. I mentioned two sites in a posting last week – DataUniverse (New Jersey) and DataCentral (Iowa). The Boston Herald is doing its part to sunshine the workings of the Massachusetts state government in a database identified as the 2007 State Employee Payroll. This database is unique in collecting public records from the government and making them easily accessible to the public, in a form not otherwise available. Search by partial last name or agency, or combine the two. A search identifies the department, the employee’s name, the job description, weekly hours and annual rate of pay. [Via Media Nation]
The Tennessee Leaf-Chronicle isn’t giving us a unique database but it is linking to some of the public records online databases at the government Web sites.
The Honolulu Advertiser’s Boating Safety Searchable Database is drawn from Coast Guard accident reports. Not all states are included and the site has few details on the extent of the data and the compiling process. Some document images of accident reports are here. The newspaper also has links to selective public records databases hosted at government sites.
Search high school graduates, government salaried employees and high school athletes for selective counties and municipalities in Kentucky and Indiana, at the Courier-Journal DataCenter. Plot property transfers in Jefferson County, Kentucky on a map. Search by street or zip code and sort by date, address or sales price.
Death Notices, building permits and smoking complaints are among the databases collected at this Cincinnati, Ohio paper.
Search Indiana state employee salaries by name and the Indiana Attorney General consumer litigation by company name. Indiana State Police speeding violations are searchable by name or location for the past 6 months.
The Des Moines Register has a variety of types of personal information databases that it has assembled from Iowa state government records. Court fines and business executive salaries are available statewide. Vital records indexes, property transfers, high school graduates and bankruptcies for Polk County can be searched by partial name. Records are indexed for 2007 only.
The Del Norte County California Tax Assessor records can be searched by parcel number.
Sometimes public records that are not available at a government site can be found at a free private Web site. Newspapers have gathered records and built searchable databases, as is the case with crime reports in San Antonio, Texas. The Express-News Crimebase can be searched by type of offense, ZIP code, street names, reporting officer or report number.
The Kentucky Court has been mandated to destroy all misdemeanor files older than 5 years. Cases filed before 2001 have already been purged.
The Multnomah County, Oregon Auditor’s Office has released its report, Public Records: Eliminate barriers to citizen access, a brief examination and statistical compilation of the response of county agencies to public record act requests. The Oregonian concludes that the county may be in violation of Oregon’s Public Records Law.
The Kentucky Court of Appeals overturned a circuit court ruling barring release of public employee job evaluations. The Appeals Court stated that public interest outweighs privacy in matters of a public agency, particularly when an employee has committed a crime. Read the story. Read the rest of this entry »