UPDATE: Groups wait years for USAFA records

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An artist's rendering of the academy's Center for Character and Leadership Development under construction, a facility that Weinstein wonders is appropriate for an institution he says violates the honor code. - COURTESY AIR FORCE ACADEMY
  • Courtesy Air Force Academy
  • An artist's rendering of the academy's Center for Character and Leadership Development under construction, a facility that Weinstein wonders is appropriate for an institution he says violates the honor code.
UPDATE:

Air Force Academy spokesman Brus Vidal admits the academy's FOIA office is overwhelmed and behind. He says one person staffs the office, which was buried under 75 requests at one time. However, by reassigning existing personnel to help work through the backlog, that's been reduced to 22 requests, he says, noting that one request alone, from MRFF, resulted in 11,000 pages of records.

—-ORIGINAL POST FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2015 4:21 P.M.——-

The Independent has waited 18 months for a response to a Freedom of Information Act records request in the past from the Air Force Academy. But the experience of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation is even more frustrating.

MRFF has waited since 2011 for a response from the Academy to its 2011 records request for all records it has on him, his wife, his daughter-in-law and two sons, and also an MRFF client, David Mullin, who sued the Academy in federal court for discrimination and won a settlement.

Now, the Academy tells the group the final batch of records are to be released in June in this letter:

See related PDF 2013_01717_F_2n_Interim_Reply_FOIA_Case.pdf MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein is understandably vexed, if vexed is a strong enough a word to use to describe the frenzied state Weinstein can reach when dealing with the Academy.

"The Air Force Academy is built on, 'We will not we will not lie, cheat or steal,'" he says, quoting the Academy's honor code "I've been asking for this for years under federal statute. It is now years later. The Academy is lying about the process, they are cheating by violating the statute and they are stealing, both time and justice. In the 11 years I've been fighting them, this is the worst example of lying, stealing and cheating I've seen."

Not being one to sit and take it, Weinstein has had a law firm fire off a letter to the Air Force Secretary, complaining of the erroneous assertion by the academy that MRFF withdrew its request, a pattern and practice of unreasonable delay, and the inappropriate application of an exemption that allows records to be withheld to balance a person's right to privacy against the public's right to know.

Here's that letter:

See related PDF MRFF_FOIA_Appeal.pdf
We've asked the Academy for a comment and will update if and when we hear something.

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