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671 S.E.2d 776

No. 33812        In re: Charleston FOIA Request

Benjamin, J., concurring:

            I concur in the majority decision. In this case, disclosure of the records sought is appropriate.

            I write separately, however, to underscore the importance of the statutory exemption from disclosure of records which deal with the detection and investigation of crimes. W.Va. Code § 29B-1-4(a)(4). This statutory section recognizes that records which would otherwise be subject to disclosure, should nevertheless be exempted from such disclosure if they “. . . deal with the detection and investigation of crime . . .” Id. I do not believe this exemption applies in this case. However, it may be that in other situations, the release of payroll records could carry with it the release of related information, such as the location of undercover work by a law enforcement officer, which could otherwise compromise a criminal investigation. While the majority opinion speaks at length about privacy expectations, I believe it also important to recognize the importance of this exception when applicable.