UPDATE: A lawsuit has been filed in this case.
The story is told in the Petoskey News-Review, in this July 25 article:
The News-Review seeks to compel Charlevoix County Prosecutor John Jarema to release emails between himself and Chris Christensen, county commissioner, requested by the newspaper after the board’s purchase of Apple iPads on May 11. The newspaper requested the emails to determine whether another commissioner’s hunch is on the mark.
In a curious turn, the county prosecutor is said to threaten the newspaper if it writes about the issue:
“Mr. McBain you are hereby placed on notice that anymore spoken or written word of me violating the OMA when it is an impossibility in these types of situations will result in civil action for libel and slander. Mr. McBain has now put it in writing in his denial that I am violating the OMA and he is hereby on notice. All an attorney has is his reputation and ethics and for McBain to be ignorant of the law and allege such false and malicious allegations will not be tolerated,” Jarema wrote in an undated letter to the News-Review’s attorneys.
Previously in the Petoskey News, a newspaper not unaccustomed to taking on public officials for their openness: FOIA requests are not scarlet letters (2009); Local police often require more formalities to see records (2009; on access to police logs).