A Bucks County Court of Common Pleas judge issued a partial victory for a mom-turned-activist who has been fighting county government for public records.
Northampton Township resident Megan Brock, a mother and Republican committeewoman, learned Friday that Judge Denise Bowman granted her some of the records related to the county’s 2021 school COVID-19 mitigation guidance change. (Read the judge’s decision)
Previously, the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records said she was entitled to those records, but the county appealed that decision to court.
The judge agreed with the county that some record won’t have to be turned over because they involved predecisional deliberation, which is exempt in the state public record law.
Bowman imposed sanctions in the form of two $1,500 penalties on the county for not including some records. In one instance, the judge said the county did not provide “any explanation” as to why a document was not provided to the court for review.
The county has 10 days to turn over the records to Brock.
Brock did not respond to a request for comment, but posted on social media: “This is a win for all of Bucks County and sets precedent for the entire state. We the people still have a voice. We are blessed to live in a country where our citizenship grants us the opportunity to peacefully demand accountability from our government. May we never take that for granted and be willing to sacrifice our own comforts to preserve these liberties for the next generation.”
County spokesperson James O’Malley said the county’s attorneys were still reviewing the judge’s decision.
Brock was represented in the appeal by conservative organization Judicial Watch and their locally-hired attorney J. Chadwick Schnee.
The Bucks County Republican Committee issued a statement after the decision.
“This past Friday was a clear victory for transparency and the right of citizens to seek answers from those who should be representing them” said county GOP Chairperson Pat Poprik.
Brock and Jamie Walker, of New Britain Township, both have been vocal critics of the county government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation guidance for schools. The duo have gain notoriety for their fight to get to the bottom of records related to the August 2021 Bucks County Health Department guidance for schools that changed several times.