My appeals for information related to Petrit Vasi's accident are progressing, slowly.
Just before the holidays, the Amherst Police Department's records secretary, Jennifer Gundersen, replied to my official petition for redress. This is where the Amherst police department had to explain to the state's Public Records Supervisor why they were not releasing records about an 11-year-old case. The majority of Gundersen's argument was that they could not release Vasi's name because it would violate HIPAA laws -- which is only a distraction and not the meat of my argument to getting the records anyway. I have no issue with them redacting Vasi's name, which is what they want to do with the incident reports.
What I really want are the investigatory notes of the officers assigned to investigate Vasi's accident, which may have been a hit-and-run which occurred the night Maura Murray had a breakdown at work, just before she ran away to the White Mountains. Here's Gundersen's response to that:
They claim not to be able to release the records because it's part of an ongoing investigation. My hunch is that this is untrue. It's an easy excuse some departments make to skirt open records laws. In fact, as they are treating it as a hit-and-run, they cannot possibly consider it an open and active case because the statute of limitations has long since expired for such a crime. There is no chance of prosecution in this case. As such, it cannot be open.
Anyway, I have appealed this, again. More soon.