The 2020 Foilies Awards: Recognizing the year’s worst in government transparency 

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The Repeat Winner Award

Atlanta Mayor's Office

Back in 2018, then-Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed earned a Foilie when he responded to a corruption probe by releasing 1.476 million documents, which he displayed in a six-foot wall of boxes at a press conference, even though it turned out that many of the documents were entirely blank or fully redacted.

Mayor Reed is no longer in office, but his legacy lives on in Atlanta, where his former press secretary, Jenna Garland, was convicted this year for violating Georgia's Open Records Act. The New York Times reported that she sought to frustrate journalists' requests for records by directing city spokespeople to be "as unhelpful as possible," "drag this out as long as possible," and "provide information in the most confusing format available."

This is the first time that a public official has been charged or convicted under Georgia's open records laws — and if recent history is a guide, it may not be the last.

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