Many of the public records lawsuits can be prevented through the Ohio Attorney General’s mediation program. For those who do not find resolution there, another option is the Sunshine Audit.
Sunshine Audits are limited scope reviews used to determine if a public entity has violated the Ohio Public Records Act. Private citizens and organizations can initiate a Sunshine Audit by filing a complaint with the Auditor of State’s Open Government Unit. In order for a complaint to be reviewed, the complainant must first make efforts to utilize the Ohio Attorney General’s mediation program.
After receiving the complaint, the Auditor of State’s office sends notices to both parties, and they will have the opportunity to present their arguments. The Auditor of State’s office will determine if Ohio’s public records laws were violated and issue a report to both parties.
The complainant’s letter will include information as to their rights and enforcement options under the Ohio public records law. The public entity will receive a noncompliance citation, bearing the weight of law, if a violation occurred.
Auditor of State Dave Yost
Attention: Open Government Unit
88 E. Broad St., 9th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(800) 282-0370 or (614) 466-2929