Governor Mike DeWine’s administration refuses to say how much it costs taxpayers to send state troopers to the Super Bowl with the governor, arguing that expense reports are exempt from disclosure.
The Enquirer filed a lawsuit in the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday after the Ohio Department of Public Safety denied a Feb. 14 public records request for flight, hotel, meals, vehicle rental and overtime for travel.
DeWine and his wife Fran paid their own expenses to travel with 19 family members to Super Bowl 56 between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. on Sunday, February 13, 2022.
The governor travels with a security detail.
The Public Safety Department denied the request for recording, saying the information could be used to attack or sabotage the governor or his contact information.
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“Release of records containing information about the Governor’s security details would reveal patterns, techniques, or relevant information about the size, scope, or nature of security and protection provided to the Governor,” the department said. .
The Enquirer is asking the High Court to order the department to release the records and pay attorneys’ fees.
Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval also made it to the Bengals’ Super Bowl
Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval attended the game with a city police officer, Sgt. Dwayne Wilson, whose expenses for the six-day trip, including a coach airfare, came to around $6,000.
In addition to his regular salary, Wilson earned $1,292 in overtime.
The city responded to the request for documents the same day it was made. Pureval said he paid for his trip himself. It was then Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac who ordered Wilson to accompany Pureval.
It’s unclear if Wilson attended the game with the mayor, but there is no cost to the city for a ticket.
Isaac wrote a note explaining his decision to send Wilson. He said: ‘The presence of an officer will help prevent or deter any incidents during the trip; a particularly acute need given the high profile nature of the events the mayor will be attending.’ Isaac added that the decision is consistent with department protocol that the mayor must be protected from threats that may arise from public travel and/or from his work representing the city.
Cincinnati Enquirer fighting first amendment
The Enquirer recently received the Associated Press First Amendment Award in Ohio for challenging a judge’s decision to allow Cincinnati police officer Ryan Olthaus to anonymously continue his libel lawsuit against people who accused of being racist. Earlier this year, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously sided with The Enquirer and UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh to unseal the case and keep Olthaus’s name on file.
The case sets a statewide precedent for Ohio courts governing when they can allow a party to file a civil case anonymously, said attorney Darren Ford, who argued on behalf of The Enquirer in the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Laura Bischoff is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliate news organizations in Ohio.
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This article originally appeared on the Cincinnati Enquirer: Mike DeWine went to the Cincinnati Bengals Super Bowl. At what price ?