Indiana Public Access Counselor Luke Britt sided with Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) on Monday in responding to a complaint filed with his office last month by The Observer. The complaint concerned the police force and Notre Dame’s denial of records requests in November, despite a change in state law last year that might have required them to grant access.The relevant law hinges on the legal distinction between private and public agencies.Under Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act (APRA), “public agencies” — like local police departments — are required to release certain records by law. However, private university police departments like NDSP have long been considered private agencies under state law, and therefore not subject to APRA.Last spring, the Indiana State Legislature passed HB 1022, which would have required private university police departments to disclose records only in situations where someone was arrested or incarcerated, shielding them specifically from the rest of APRA. It was vetoed by then-Gov. Mike Pence in March.But in November, the South Bend Tribune reported another law — HB 1019 — was also passed last year containing language such that it inadvertently changed the state’s definition of a “public agency” to specifically include university police departments.Effective July 1 of last year, the law changed the term’s definition, which now reads in the Indiana State Code as the following:“‘Public agency,’ except as provided in section 2.1 of this chapter, means the following: … (11) A private university police department. The term does not include the governing board of a private university or any other department, division, board, entity, or office of a private university.”Of the change in the definition, Britt said it was “inadvertently inserted into HB 1019.”Britt said in a letter that his office became aware of the error in July 2016, and that “on the advice of the Legislative Services agency,” he began to advise his constituents that the changed definition had “the full force of law.”“In August of 2016, however, the Indiana Legislative Council voted unanimously to include the error in the 2017 Technical Corrections Bill, HB 1181,” Britt said. “As of the date of this writing [Jan. 30] it had been referred to the Judiciary Committee but had not yet been passed.”Britt also cited the state Supreme Court’s decision in ESPN’s lawsuit against Notre Dame, which ruled in November that private universities in Indiana are not obligated to disclose police records.“While I may respectfully disagree with that ruling as Public Access Counselor for policy reasons, I defer to the Court’s opinion as the binding and final authority on the matter,” Britt said.Ultimately, Britt said his interpretation of the events surrounding HB 1019 is that the change regarding private university police departments was unintentional.“While the language itself and its impact is substantive and not technical in nature, it was obviously an oversight to include it in the bill,” he said. “I hesitate to categorize it as a simple scrivener’s error, however, it appears to be done in error.“It has been my modus to evaluate the totality of circumstances of an issue and not make determinations on a technicality.”Because he believes the correction will pass the General Assembly and because of his interpretation of the original bill’s intent, Britt said he would “defer to the General Assembly.”If, however, the section regarding APRA is removed from or altered in the legislative corrections bill and private university police departments remain in the definition of “public agency,” Britt said he would revisit the issue.Tags: APRA, HB 1019, HB 1022, NDSP, police records
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“I have come to appeal to you, to understand the situation of the federation, to understand the situation of the country at the present and exercise patience.“We will pay you all monies you are being owed as soon as we receive same from the government, just as we paid the Under-17 boys who won the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile last year, after the tournament. And just as we sorted out Coach Samson Siasia’s wages as soon as we had the funds, after the Olympics.”Sanusi also recalled that the Super Eagles were owed monies for the match against Tanzania and were paid when funds for that match was made available by government.“As I speak with you, we are still owing the Super Eagles for the matches against Zambia and Algeria, but the memos have gone to government and are being looked at,” he said.“We must commend the Hon. Minister (Solomon Dalung). He has been energetically pushing the cases of the various national teams. We did the memo for the Women Africa Cup of Nations in October and it is being processed as we speak.”Stating that the NFF has embarked on aggressive drive to find a permanent solution to the issue of owing players and coaches, Sanusi said corporate players are now lending a listening ear to the NFF leadership and the federation’s finances would soon improve.“We are also working to get monies outstanding from former sponsors of the national teams, to complement what we are expecting from government.“In relation to all these, we are in the process of sorting out our TSA domiciliary accounts so that we can receive our due grants from FIFA and CAF, including the $80,000 prize money from the AWCON, once it is available.”But in her reaction to the inability of the NFF to pay, USA-based forward Francisca Ordega has regretted playing for the Super Falcons, saying she would have opted for another country because of the lack of support for women’s football in Nigeria.Ordega won her third women’s AFCON in Cameroon last weekend and has also represented Nigeria at Under-17 and Under-20 levels, but she said the neglect of women’s football by the country is most regrettable.“If I had not played for Nigeria at full international level, trust me I would have played somewhere else,” a frustrated Ordega blasted.“The U17 and U20 teams have been blamed for the performances at their recent World Cups, but they were poorly prepared for these competitions.“If this continues, Nigeria will soon cease to be a force in Africa because there will be no future Super Falcons.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has promised to pay the victorious Super Falcons, but that will be when they have the cash to pay them.NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, who met with the players and officials of the African champions at the Agura Hotel yesterday, said the federation is not happy owing players and coaches, but present severe economic challenges inform that it can only continue to seek the understanding of these persons, as well as hoteliers, travel agents and management and staff until the situation improves.“There is no gainsaying that there is severe economic challenges and all organisations, whether government or private, are feeling the pinch. It is not government’s doing; it is not anybody’s doing. We know we have financial commitment to you (players and officials of Super Falcons) and we have not at any time stated otherwise. But the money is not readily available at the moment,” he told the team.