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Official never asked to hear tape, councilwoman claims

Published October 27. 2011 05:01PM

Lansford Councilwoman Mary Kruczek at a public council meeting Wednesday rebutted President Adam Webber's statement that he asked for an audio recording she made of a meeting, but was rebuffed.

Kruczek said that Webber never asked to hear the tape.

"I was never asked for any of those recordings," she said.

Webber on Sept. 21 had filed a request under the state's Right-to-Know law (which protects peoples' ability to access and obtain public records held by government agencies) to get access to the tapes, according to borough solicitor Michael Greek. He responded to Webber's request on Sept. 29, saying that Webber could not use the law to obtain personal recordings or notes.

"The Right-to-Know request is for documents maintained by the 'agency' in its capacity. You would have no more right to her personal recordings as you would her personal notes and memos she makes during the council meetings. Also, she would have no right, nor any other council member, to look at yours. Given your ability to obtain the information regarding the recordings made by the borough of the council meeting, I would suggest you have the borough secretary make a copy for you, and no further action needs to be performed with respect to the Right-to-Know request," Greek wrote.

The matter surfaced at an Oct. 12 public council meeting. The day after the meeting, Webber responded to a request for comment by the TIMES NEWS.

His emailed response was: "The dates that I have requested Mary's tapes are the only known good recordings of those meetings. I know that a simple question of Mary can I have a copy of your recorded meetings would and has been replied to negatively," he wrote.

At the Oct. 12 public council meeting, Greek said the borough's tape recorder failed to record part of a meeting, and that Webber had filed the Right-to-Know request in order to compel Kruczek to turn over her recording.

Kruczek did not publicly comment on the matter at that meeting.

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