DA CRAIG STEDMAN & CORONER STEVEN DIAMANTONIPosted on May 2nd, 2012 4 comments
WE PAY THEM
TO PROTECT AND SERVE US!
The following letter was mailed today along with a second, identical letter except referencing Right To Know Request Number 58-2012 regarding Isabel Bortree, found April 4, 2012, hanging from a tree behind Burle Industrial Park.
Apparently in Lancaster County, District Attorney Craig Stedman and Coroner Steven Diamantoni don’t think the public has a right to know if an autopsy was performed or not on a sudden, suspicious and violent death victim. Amazing!
May 2, 2012
Office of Open Records
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North Street, 4th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Re: Appeal of Right-To-Know Request Number 62-2012
Dear Mr. Mutchler:
I am appealing the County of Lancaster’s denial of my Right-To-Know request referenced above. I have included my original request and their letter of denial.
It is readily apparent that the public has a right to know if an autopsy was performed following a sudden and violent death. My request is only to know if an autopsy was or was not performed on the body of Louise J. Ward, found March 28, 2012, hanging from a tree in Elizabethtown.
Surely the District Attorney knows if one was performed and, if for some reason DA Craig Stedman does not know, a simple call to the coroner’s office would take less time than writing their letter declining my request.
The County of Lancaster Right-To-Know Policy (http://www.co.lancaster.pa.us/lanco/lib/lanco/Res_99-Right_To_Know.PDF) defines “Record” as follows:
“’Record’ shall mean information, regardless of physical form or characteristics, that documents a transaction or activity of the County and is created, received or retained pursuant to law or in connection with a transaction, business or activity of the County. The term includes a document, paper, letter, map, book, tape, photograph, film or sound recording, information stored or maintained electronically and a data-processed or image-processed document.”
The Lancaster County Coroner certainly has a record of whether his office performed an autopsy or not on Ms. Ward and the public has a clear right to know this information.
4 responses to “DA CRAIG STEDMAN & CORONER STEVEN DIAMANTONI”
anonymous3 May 2nd, 2012 at 16:45
Good for you. Why in the world wouldn’t they just voluntarily disclose that information?
anonymous3 – my guess is because no autopsy was done and they damn well know one should have been done! I don’t think there’s any other possible explanation – but I’ve been wrong before!
anonymous3 May 3rd, 2012 at 12:02
That’s what my guess was, too. Although I have also been wrong before.
I’m not surprised at the rejection letter. RTK requests are for specific documents only and you need to properly ask for that document. They DO NOT cover any kind of questions – yes/no, does x exist or not – et cetera.