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Submitted: May 18, 2001

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) filed a motion to quash as untimely Donald M. Lewis’ III, Esquire (Lewis) petition for review from PennDot’s determination that certain documents requested by him were not within the purview of the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know Act (Act)*fn1 and would not be made available for his review.

On September 8, 2000, Lewis, on his own behalf, requested to inspect 19 differing categories of documents in PennDot’s possession on or before September 25, 2000. Lewis was counsel for Balfour Beatty Construction, Inc., an out-of-state corporation, in underlying suspension and debarment proceedings that were pending before PennDot. By letter dated September 19, 2000, Audrey Feinman Miner, Assistant Chief Counsel for PennDot (Counsel), advised Lewis that upon review of his request, a preliminary determination was made that eight of the 19 categories requested did not meet the definition of public records under the Right-to-Know Act and would not be provided for his review.*fn2 Further, Counsel stated that if Lewis disagreed with this assessment, he could provide further information to PennDot relating to his disagreement and the matter would be reconsidered. As to his remaining requests, Counsel stated that due to the volume and nature of his request, inspection of these documents could not occur prior to the September 25 th deadline, and the documents would be made available to him as soon as practicable. Lewis responded by specifically delineating why his remaining requests should have been granted and also noted that rather than waiting for the documents as a whole to be identified and compiled, he wished to review them on a rolling basis. Counsel never formally responded to what was, in effect, a request by Lewis for reconsideration of the eight of the 19 categories of requested documents. *fn3

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