Pa. open records office needs independence, ex-chief says

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – The Pennsylvania state legislative aide who is trying to retain his appointment as the state’s open records czar says the public won’t have confidence in the Office of Open Records if the governor can fire the executive director.

Erik Arneson told the Pennsylvania Press Club on Monday the office, established six years ago, has already ruled against the executive branch about 400 times.

Arneson is suing Gov. Tom Wolf over Wolf’s decision to fire him as head of the open records office in January, shortly after then-Gov. Tom Corbett had named him to the job.

A state court will hear oral argument in the dispute next month. Until then, Arneson is a temporary employee of the state Senate, where he worked for 18 years as a Republican aide.