Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Oklahoma AG's Decision a Good One, Could Cause Repercussions

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Oklahoma AG's Decision a Good One, Could Cause Repercussions

Article excerpt

There have been times that I have made a good decision that led to not-so-good repercussions. Some involved scars.

I spent a lot of time on the ice as a hockey official. I was a linesman in a game between two teams of testosterone-laden high- school-age hockey players. The puck was in the corner where there were no opposing players and, consequently, no chance of a fight breaking out. So I was watching the two young, strong, angry men with sticks who were wearing different jerseys and thinking about beating the hell out of one another.

Watching them was a sound, rational decision.

Once they decided against fisticuffs, I turned my head toward the defenseman who had chased down the puck, which by any account was another good, logical decision.

Unfortunately, I did so at the very moment the puck, six ounces of frozen, one-inch-thick hard black rubber, came flying out of the zone. It met my face just below my left eye and gave an emergency room doc one more thing to stitch on a Saturday night.

Good decision, bad result. But the doctor did a fine job and now, seven or eight years later, even I have a hard time finding the scar.

On May 15, Attorney General Drew Edmondson issued a good, logical opinion in answer to an open records question. The question was whether electronic communication about state business that transpired on a personal cell phone was a public record.

The attorneys who had to hash that one out made the right call: Of course it is. It shouldn't be treated any differently than an e- mail sent from a personal computer or a memo typed on a home typewriter. If it's about state business, it's a public record.

That seems pretty simple, but the opinion is going to raise more questions than it answered and it has the potential for a puck-in- the-face outcome.

When the Open Records and Records Management acts were written, the idea was that if you typed that memo you used a piece of carbon paper and tossed the copy in a file cabinet. …

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