Meet Maine's First Public Access Omsbudsman (FOAA)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2012
CONTACT: Linda Pistner, 626-8820
Attorney General Schneider Announces Hiring of Public Access Ombudsman
AUGUSTA – Attorney General William Schneider announced today that attorney Brenda Kielty has been selected to serve as Maine’s first Public Access Ombudsman.
The responsibilities of the Public Access Ombudsman include responding to informal inquiries about Maine’s Freedom of Access Act, working to resolve complaints, preparing educational materials about the law in collaboration with the Right to Know Advisory Committee, and making recommendations about improving access to public records and proceedings. The Ombudsman position, while created by the Legislature in 2006, has been unfunded until this year.
“The public’s right to know about the activities of government is a cornerstone of democracy. We look forward to having the means to provide more effective information and assistance to citizens about using the law,” said Attorney General Schneider.
Ms. Kielty, previously a Special Assistant to the Attorney General, has worked as an educator, a mediator and an attorney, and serves as a member of the RSU #5 Board. “I’m very excited about the opportunity this position will give me to make use of the different parts of my background, and particularly to work toward expanding the public’s awareness of the law as a tool that can increase their participation in government.”
While Ms. Kielty transitions into her new position, the Office of the Attorney General continues to answer questions about the public’s rights to access records and meetings at 207-626-8800.