Open-records rulings covers phones, home addresses

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania appellate court says government-issued employee telephone and cell phone numbers are not public information, but that officials’ home addresses are not similarly protected from disclosure.

In a pair of decisions Wednesday, a seven-judge Commonwealth Court panel also said “secondary” e-mail addresses issued to government officials are exempt from mandatory disclosure under the state Right-to-Know Law, but that public officials must disclose their middle names and the county that they live in.

Craig Staudenmaier, the attorney for the citizen activists who filed the two lawsuits, says he’s concerned that the decisions will make it more difficult for citizens to get public information, but that on balance Wednesday’s rulings are good news.

Staudenmaier says he’s unsure whether his clients will appeal the decisions.

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