In a victory for open government, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police investigation records are public documents once a suspect’s criminal trial concludes.
The court ruled 5-1 that most of the records sought by the Ohio Innocence Project from Columbus police since 2013 must be turned over.
The decision will likely reverse a practice by police departments across Ohio to withhold investigative records until all potential proceedings are exhausted or the defendant dies.
The court said that under Ohio’s open record laws, the lawyer requesting defendant Adam Saleh’s file from Columbus police “had a clear legal right to the requested records and that respondents had a clear legal duty to provide the records,” said Justice Paul Pfeifer, writing for the majority.
Ohio Innocence Project Director Mark Godsey called it a huge win for