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State audit finds Cuyahoga wanting when it comes to transparency
Cuyahoga responds it's being penalized for trying to do more, not less

In The Region:

A just-released audit of how local governments handle public records requests is harshly critical of northeast Ohio’s largest county.

State Auditor David Yost says Cuyahoga County had problems keeping consistent request logs and providing proof that employees attended ublic-records training.

Cuyahoga County law director Majeed Makhlouf  says the county violated no state laws and tries to do more than is required.

LISTEN: MAKHLOUF on Cuyahoga's defense

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“It is unfortunate that the message that the state auditor is sending to local communities is that they should do the absolute bare minimum, and that if they try to do more and go above and beyond the call of duty that they will be criticized on how they’re doing that.”

Makhlouf says Cuyahoga County appreciates all suggestions to improve records access.

Auditor Yost says about 40 percent of the governments audited failed the transparency test.

LISTEN: Yost on transparency
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“We see so many people in local government fighting to maintain and further that transparency. But we also see places where the door’s being shut, the curtain’s are being drawn. And that’s just wrong. When government is not open, but is close, it’s a short path for a government to become our master instead of our servant.”

In all, Yost’s office sampled 20 cities and counties. 

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