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Records request goes unanswered by council, mayor  

Credit:  Written by Ben Felder, Editor | The Piedmont Citizen | April 17, 2013 | www.piedmontdaily.com ~~

A public records request for emails concerning a proposed wind farm project has gone unanswered by all but one councilman and the mayor.

The Piedmont Citizen filed a public records request for any emails containing discussion of Apex Wind Energy and a proposed wind farm west of Piedmont on March 26. The request was relayed to the Piedmont city council and mayor, but as of Wednesday morning, only outgoing councilman Larry Gage had submitted emails to the Citizen.

A recall effort against Councilman Vernon Woods has accused the city official of secretly meeting with officials from a wind energy company attempting to build a controversial wind farm. Woods has admitted to meeting with Apex officials, along with other members of the council.

Gage submitted a list of emails to the Piedmont Citizen earlier this month that contained responses from other council members, but none of the other council members or Mayor Valerie Thomerson has responded to the request or expressed opposition.

The Oklahoma Open Records Act allows citizens, organizations and news outlets to request public documents, which include emails to and from elected officials.

UPDATE, April 18, 7:50 a.m.

A story published on PiedmontDaily.com Wednesday reported that four councilmen and Piedmont’s mayor had yet to respond to a request for emails almost three weeks since the Piedmont Citizen filed its request with city hall. Councilman Charles Coffman submitted emails on Wednesday and said he was under the impression that his email had already been turned in.

Coffman wrote an email to the Piedmont Citizen on March 27 saying that he believed Councilman Vernon Woods had sent emails from Coffman to the Citizen. The Piedmont Citizen has confirmed that Coffman sent that initial email but had not received any emails from Woods at the time. When the Piedmont Citizen notified Coffman of this on Wednesday, he sent his emails per the open records request.

Source:  Written by Ben Felder, Editor | The Piedmont Citizen | April 17, 2013 | www.piedmontdaily.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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