Newspaper Reporter's Request to Reveal Cancelled Checks

In Carbondale Township v. Murray, 64 Pa. Commw. 465, 440 A.2d 1273 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1982) a newspaper reporter requested that the Township make available to him the Township's cancelled checks involving the Road Account and Payroll Account. The Court affirmed the trial court's order directing that the Township authorize its bank to make copies of the checks available to the reporter. The Court stated that to conclude otherwise "would be permitting any governmental body to escape public scrutiny of its records by simply alleging that it no longer has possession of its public records." Id. at 1275. Contrary to the facts in Carbondale, the record in this matter reveals no evidence that the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) is attempting to escape public scrutiny of the requested record. Indeed, as discussed above, in an attempt to locate the requested document, the PSP requested that other agencies search for the user fee statement or the laboratory report number to no avail.