The Massachusetts Secretary of State's office has ruled that the public has a right to know the names, addresses and amounts owed of the top 10 parking scofflaws in the town of Watertown. In a Dec. 24 letter published by the Wicked Local Watertown Blog, state Supervisor of Public Records Alan N. Cote ordered the town to release the information, which the Watertown TAB had requested last May.
The town had refused to comply with the newspaper's public records request, citing both the federal Drivers Privacy Protection Act and the fact that the records are maintained for the town by an outside contractor. Cote ruled that the federal law does not apply to the records in question and that the town's use of an outside contractor does not relieve it of its obligation to comply with the public records law.
[Hat tip to Media Nation.]