Cook Files Right-to-Know Request
12/10/2020
HARRISBURG – Rep. Bud Cook (R-Washington/Fayette) continues to seek full transparency from the Redevelopment Authority of Washington County in regard to Local Share Account (LSA) distribution. Cook is filing his fifth Right-to-Know (RTK) request with the Redevelopment Authority since efforts first began in March 2017.

“It is important to understand the LSA award process in Washington County,” said Cook. “My office received inquiries as to why more organizations were not applying for LSA grants in the 49th Legislative District. For this reason, we started to file requests to the Redevelopment Authority to ensure their selection process was fair, accountable and transparent.”

The Redevelopment Authority of Washington County did provide basic information; however, Judge Katherine Emery ruled that full records of 433 projects funded by the LSA of casino gambling must be provided. Since those full records were not provided, Cook is pursuing his quest to ensure the process is legitimate. 

“The Redevelopment Authority stalled on producing the requested documents and argued that the cost would be too great,” Cook continued. “It seemed contradictory to argue that cost was an impediment to our request while they were willing to spend money to keep the records from the public. This fifth RTK request would reveal exactly how much money has been spent fighting our initial requests and would give clarity as to how funds are distributed through the LSA.”

Cook’s RTK request includes seeking contracts, invoices and payments between the Redevelopment Authority of Washington County and any in-house or outside counsel regarding defense of RTK appeals and the same documents from LSA grant recipients.

“After fighting this battle for nearly four years, we are at a loss to understand why the Washington County commissioners and the Redevelopment Authority are unwilling to work with us,” Cook concluded. “We must ensure the LSA distribution process is fair, accountable and transparent, and we will not accept being stonewalled.”

Please see the attached letters from the Redevelopment Authority executive director to Rep. Cook explaining why the law has not been followed and Cook to the Washington County commissioners requesting their cooperation.
Representative Bud Cook
49th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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