The January 2014 request by Anna Schiffbauer, an editor at Otterbein360.com, was denied by the university’s vice president and student affairs dean, who said the "private university’s police records are not public," reports the Society of Professional Journalists, which helped fund the case with a $10,000 contribution from its Legal Defense Fund. "Schiffbauer filed a mandamus action asking the Ohio Supreme Court to order the release of the documents."
"In a 4-3 decision in State ex rel. Schiffbauer v. Banaszak, the Ohio Supreme Court ordered the Otterbein University police chief to produce the criminal records requested by Schiffbauer," SPJ reports. "The court said the university’s police department was established by statute to enforce criminal laws, and that function makes the department a public office under the state’s Public Records Act." (Read more)