As many of our readers are aware, recently the Perry County Auditors filed suit against Sheriff Nace in an attempt to force him to disclose confidential license to carry firearms (LTCF) applicant information, even though the Perry County Board of Commissioners came out in support of Sheriff Nace. Thanks to an assist by a member of Perry County Stands Behind Sheriff Carl Nace, I was able to obtain a copy of the Complaint filed against Sheriff Nace. You can download a copy here.
In the Complaint, the Auditors have the audacity to state that
The Auditors cannot perform their statutory duties under 16 P.S. §§ 1721(a) and 1724 to audit the Sheriff’s receipt and disbursement of application fees for licenses to carry firearms unless the Auditors review the original, unredacted records where the Sheriff records the receipt and disbursement of such fees. (emphasis added).
How they can claim that they are unable to perform their duty without the actual names and addresses is beyond comprehension, as Sheriff Nace offered them the redacted receipt and disbursement ledger but which contained all the financial information. It would seem that they have far more nefarious purposes in requiring the names and addresses of LTCF holders; something that will not be forgotten next election cycle. (By the way, why does Perry County need three auditors? Just wondering….)
In continues on
Prior to year 2013, the Sheriff provided the Auditors with access to these original, unredacted records so that the Auditors could conduct the audits required by 16 P.S. §§ 1721(a) and 1724.
While I understand that Sheriff Nace disputes this point, haven’t the Auditors, through their counsel and the Verification page, just admitted to violating 18 Pa.C.S. § 6111(i)? Given there is a 6 year statute of limitation and based upon the PSP’s Annual Report for 2012, there were 1,851 LTCF applications/renewals processed in Perry County, at $1,000 per disclosure plus attorney fees, it would seem that they just admitted to a multi-million dollar violation of the Uniform Firearms Act. One can find the PSP’s Annual Reports for other years, here. Whoopsie….
It is somewhat humorous to see them attempt to argue that it isn’t a disclosure in their Complaint because it is ONLY to the Auditors…who aren’t the public. They’re just public officials…uh huh. Someone seems to have missed the “and” between confidential and not subject to public disclosure in Section 6111(i). The Legislature specifically went further than to simply state that the records are confidential by including, as well, that they aren’t subject to public disclosure. This seems to have eluded the Auditors and their counsel.
It is also interesting to see them argue that their putative right to audit in some unspecified way supersedes the confidentiality provisions. Nothing within the Complaint supports their position that the Sheriff must turn over the confidential information. In fact, there isn’t a single case or statute cited that would support their proposition, which is why such is noticeably absent from the Complaint.
Looks like the Auditors, in their haste to sue the Sheriff, may have just cost the taxpayers of Perry County millions of dollars….remember that come election time…