May 10, 2022
May 10, 2022
Lansing, Mich., May 10, 2022 – Newly released documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that MI Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson personally approved the policy change that prevented the public and the press from obtaining public records.
The policy change approved by Jocelyn Benson was intended to prevent the release of records required to be made public under the Michigan Vehicle Code. Within hours, the policy change had been widely condemned by numerous editorial boards and raised alarms within the Michigan Press Association.
The FOIA cover letter provides a statement from Jake Rollow, Benson’s Chief External Affairs Officer, who took the fall for Benson’s blunder, despite the elected official having approved the statement and policy change.
“The decision by Secretary Benson to arbitrarily decide, regardless of state law, what public records they will release is alarming,” said Eric Ventimiglia, Executive Director for Michigan Rising Action. Ventimiglia continued, “Attempts by her unelected staff to cover for something that was approved by Benson is an egregious breach of trust between the government, members of the media, and the public.”