Somerville has a long-standing history of keeping statements of financial interest sealed from public viewing. Information has been kept hidden showing personal information of public officials including income, personal phone numbers, home address. The Journal has paid in excess of $200 in fines for heavily redacted statements from 2014 that included the financial interest of 77 elected and public officials. Although the state affirmed back in 2008 that protecting the information was vital for privacy concerns of both city and elected officials, our First Amendment law attorney, Robert A. Bertsche, disagreed.
“These statements are designed to assure citizens of the “impartiality and honesty” of public officials, public employees, and candidates for public office.” To read more on the back story behind Somerville’s public records history along with Rob Bertsche’s opinion, click here.