Lawyer Corners Quiet Feds on Aid to Pakistan

          WASHINGTON (CN) – Three federal agencies must disclose their records on grants that Pakistan has received to fund media projects, says an Oregon attorney who’s no stranger to the Freedom of Information Act.
     Daniel Stotter filed a federal complaint Monday against the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of State and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, claiming that the agencies won’t give up records requested under FOIA.
     Stotter says he contacted the agencies back in 2007, seeking records describing “United States financial grants or funding directed to any Pakistan based media organizations for the purpose of supporting Pakistan related media projects.”
     Agency bureaucrats allegedly gave Stotter the run-around, while extending their own deadlines, but the Agency for International Development ultimately produced more than 200 pages of responsive documents.
     The agency then ignored Stotter’s appeal, he claims.
     Stotter says he never received a final response from the State Department or the Broadcasting Board of Governors, though the latter charged him more than $18,000 to comb its agency for responsive records.
     He wants the court to force the agencies to release all responsive records and waive the associated fees. He’s also asking for a refund of the money he’s already spent on agency search fees.
     Stotter, a Freedom of Information Act attorney, is represented by his own law firm, Stotter & Associates of Corvallis, Ore.
     Court records show that Stotter has represented many others over the years in similar battles for government files.

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