On June 18, the Times Observer submitted a Right-to-Know request to the City of Warren seeking a copy of a recently completed fiscal monitoring review report completed on the $500,000 Anchor Building Grant for the failed Allegheny Center for the Arts project.
On Tuesday, the answer was received.
"As you are aware, the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) conducted an investigative review of the manner in which state funding was utilized in association with the Allegheny Center for the Arts Building Project," a letter from the City of Warren dated June 20 said. "The City is currently in the response stage of the review process."
The letter then cites two exemptions included in the Right-to-Know Law (RTKL) that make the document exempt from public disclosure.
"A record that reflects the internal, predecisional deliberations of an agency...including predecisional deliberations relating to a budget recommendation, legislative proposal, legislative amendment, contemplated or proposed policy or course of action or any research, memos or other documents used in the predecisional deliberations."
"A record of an agency relating to a noncriminal investigation, including: work papers underlying an audit. A record that, if disclosed would do any of the following: reveal the institution, progress or result of an agency investigation except the imposition of a fine or civil penalty, the suspension, modification or revocation of a license, permit, registration, certification or similar authorization issued by an agency or an executed settlement agreement unless the agreement is determined to be confidential by a court."
"DCED representatives have advised the City to not release any information regarding the DCED review to any individual, outside agency, or organization until such time as the review process is complete," the letter explains. "In consideration of the above-stated facts, your request is hereby denied."
A similar Right-to-Know request was submitted to DCED earlier this month. In response, DCED invoked a clause in the law allowing a 30-day extension to fulfill the request because "compliance with your request may require the redaction of certain information that is not subject to the RTKL," a letter from DCED dated June 20 said.