McKinney Says $79,000 Public Records Bill in Pool Party Case Was a Mistake

If the city of McKinney is to be believed, the $79,229.09 bill it sent Gawker was a mistake.

The bill came in response to a request from Gawker for records and emails related to Eric Casebolt, the former McKinney police officer who resigned after he was caught on video earlier this month pulling a gun on a group of unarmed teens at a pool party and tackling a bikini-clad 14-year-old and pinning her to the ground with his knee.

The initial bill sent by the city sure didn't look like a mistake. Everything was itemized, down to the more than a year's worth of labor needed by  a programmer to find any requested emails that were written before March 2014, when McKinney switched email systems, and a nearly $15,000 "computer resource charge." 

Here's the email McKinney spokeswoman Anna Clark sent Andy Cush, the writer who requested the information: 


The letter you received in response to your request was erroneous, and we apologize.

The number quoted to you as a cost estimate for your records request is not accurate. We sincerely apologize for the misinformation and the ensuing confusion, and we agree that the cost of more than $79,000 is at best implausible. The cost estimate was reached by mistake and should never have been communicated to you as a requestor for public records.

Please know we are working diligently to come to a reasonable and accurate estimate based on your request. While many requests regarding this incident, including yours, are voluminous, in no way would the city presume to charge such an exorbitant fee.

Again, we apologize for the inaccurate estimate. Please expect a revised letter from the attorney’s office with an updated cost estimate and accompanying details.


"More than $79,000 is at best implausible." That sounds about right. 
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young