FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The Indiana State’s Public Access Counselor has determined that the City of Fort Wayne violated the Access to Public Records Act by failing to disclose incident report and body footage of Mayor Tom Henry’s OWI arrested on October 8, 2022. According to our partners in news at 21 Alive, attorneys representing the City of Fort Wayne have denied multiple public information requests mainly for body cam video and the police report following the October 8th incident.
Malak Heiny, city attorney, has said the requests were protected by an investigatory records clause, which states that it’s up to police whether the files are released. Luke Britt, the governor-appointed public access counselor, released an opinion Tuesday said that the city has to have a reason for withholding the records. Britt said he doesn’t see any policies or legal reason to justify withholding an incident report of body camera footage for a mayor who has pleaded guilty, been sentenced and continued in the executive role.
City spokesperson, John Perlich, told The Journal Gazette that city officials are reviewing Britt’s opinion and will release a formal response “in the near future.”
Mayor Henry’s Office released the following statement Thursday morning:
I want to take this opportunity to update the public that my staff and I continue to review the recent opinion from the Indiana Public Access Counselor concerning the release of video footage from my recent OWI arrest.
I will provide a formal response to the opinion and next steps at a media briefing at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 16 at my office at Citizens Square.