City Loses $1.4 Million Public Records Lawsuit

An Ohio man has won a $1.4 million dollar lawsuit against the city of Bucyrus, OH.

The suit was filed against the city over public records that were destroyed from 16 years ago.

Edwin Davila filed the lawsuit in June 2009 because the city of Bucyrus could not provide 9-1-1 tape recordings he’d requested from February 1994 through December 1997, while doing research into 9-1-1 call systems.

Judge David C. Faulkner sided with Davila over the 31 destroyed recordings that were at the center of the suit. The recordings included over 11,000 public records that were destroyed due to repeated use.

Davila’s suit sought either the public records he had originally requested or damages of $1,000 for each record withheld, plus a civil forfeiture of $1,000 for each recording, original and backup, that he was not given.

Davila capped his claim to only 1,409 of the public records requested.

Bucyrus police Chief Ken Teets, claims the police department was not legally required to keep the recordings for such a lengthy time period.

The mayor of Bucyrus stated that the city will appeal the decision and said that Davila was taking advantage of a loophole in public record laws, noting that Davila has filed similar suits on other cities.

Davila is a former attorney from Stark County, OH.

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