Tim McCollum, an assistant attorney general with the Alabama Department of Public Safety, told AL.com a taxpayer who wants to get a document for free by taking a picture wants “to steal from the citizens of Alabama.”
Frank Gibson, a past president of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, said that statement is “absurd.”
“The government does not own the records,” he told Watchdog.org. “They collect them for the benefit of citizens.”
AL.com noted the no-photograph policy would appear to directly contradict a 2009 attorney general’s opinion that said the Sumter County probate judge couldn’t prevent someone from taking pictures of documents unless that somehow interfered with the operations of the office.