Is County Contractor Subject To State Public Records Laws?

Feb 2, 2016

The question of whether a contractor providing services to local government is subject to Oregon public records laws went before a Lane County Circuit Judge Monday. The case has to do with a request for information about the euthanizing of dogs and cats at 1st Avenue Shelter in Eugene.

Greenhill Humane Society runs 1st Avenue Shelter under contract for Lane County under.

Debi McNamara is with “No Kill Lane County” a watchdog group that monitors the shelter. She was concerned about dogs she believed were put down unnecessarily. McNamara asked for records from Greenhill. The non-profit refused, saying it is not subject to state public records laws. Attorney Lauren Regan represents McNamara.

Regan: “The fact that they’re running the public shelter and not willing to turn over documents about euthanizing animals definitely begs the question, you know, why are they hiding? What is their need for secrecy in this case? Especially when they’re claiming to be a no kill shelter. The public wants a no kill shelter.”

The Lane County District Attorney has concurred with Greenhill that it is not subject to public records laws. Deputy DA Erik Hasselman says if the judge rules that Greenhill is in fact a public entity and subject to the law, then that would be binding.

Note: This is a new version of this story. A correction was made after KLCC spoke with the Lane County District Attorney's office.