RI Attorney General suing Town of West Warwick for APRA violation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Office of the Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against the Town of West Warwick for violating the Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act (APRA).

The lawsuit requests that Superior Court order the Town of West Warwick to turn over all documents related to a 2018 APRA request, according to a spokesperson for the Attorney General.

“Public bodies should operate in an open and transparent fashion, which is the essence of why our open government laws exist,” said Attorney General Neronha said in a statement. “We take open government matters seriously and expect public officials to do the same and comply with the requirements of these laws.”

The lawsuit comes after the Attorney General’s office found on March 29 that West Warwick violated the APRA when it failed to respond to a Feb. 15, 2018 APRA request, according to the Attorney General’s office.

The Feb. 15, 2018 APRA request was a request for documents relating to a municipal agreement between West Warwick and Coventry.

The investigation into the initial APRA complaint revealed that West Warwick failed to respond to the request within 10 business day, which is required under the APRA.

In addition to the production of all the records requested, the Attorney General’s office is seeking civil fines and attorneys’ fees as well.

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2019