NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - A state council has rejected a proposal to add a criminal penalty to Virginia's Freedom of Information Act.
The state's FOIA Council dismissed the proposal on Wednesday.
The Virginia House of Delegates approved legislation earlier this year that would have made deliberate refusal to release public information a class 1 misdemeanor. The Senate sent the bill introduced by Del. Rick Morris to the council for further study.
Both the Virginia Municipal League and the state's commonwealth's attorneys association spoke in opposition to the proposed penalty. Municipal league attorney Mark Flynn told the council that such a law could be used by political operatives to have officials arrested near election time on trumped up charges.