Secretary Of State Rules Some Criminal Records Exempt From State Law

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If you decide to request criminal records — as a media organization, an employer or just out of curiosity — in most states — it's a relatively simple process.

But in Massachusetts, some recent rulings by the secretary of state's office has made it clear public records requests are a much more complicated business in the Bay State.

For example, it's been determined that Boston police can withhold the names of five police officers caught driving drunk.

We reached out to the secretary of state's office, but they declined to give a statement.


Jeffrey Pyle, public records lawyer with Prince Lobel Tye LLP. He tweets @JeffreyPyle1.

Wayne Sampson, executive director for the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.


The Boston Globe: Ruling Allows Police To Withhold Officers’ Drunken Driving Records

  • "Among the recent rulings: Boston police can withhold the names of five police officers caught drunken driving. State Police can withhold the report on an officer who was arrested. North Andover can refuse to release booking photos of a state trooper. And, the Department of Correction can withhold its entire log of people incarcerated in the state prison system."

This segment aired on March 11, 2015.


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