The Scott administration announced this week a new process for expediting release of records from the Jay Peak fraud case. The former operators of Jay Peak are accused of defrauding investors under the federal EB-5 program, which allows foreign nationals to getAmerican green cards in exchange for investing in qualifying development projects.
VTDigger.org, the online news service, has been pursuing the release of related documents for years, and has faced delays and rejections from state officials. The Scott administration has promised a fresh approach to public records requests — but there are significant limits.
“I think it’s good news that the governor wants to release more records on EB-5,” says Anne Galloway, VTDigger founder and editor. “The bad news is, it would appear that an awful lot of information could be withheld on the grounds of attorney-client privilege and the work product rule.”
The work product rule blocks disclosure of materials prepared in preparation for possible litigation. Think of it as an extension of attorney-client privilege.