Montpelier, Vermont: The Justices of the Vermont Supreme Court have issued two distinct decisions with regard to access to public employee investigations in the past month and a half under the Vermont Public Records Law. The suits were brought by the Rutland Herald and sought access to documents relating to an internal investigation within the police department and an investigation relating to allegations that a public works employee viewed pornography on a city computer. While the court allowed access to disciplinary records stemming from investigations of public employees it blocked access to investigations internal to the police department when they were linked to investigation and detection of a crime. Robert Hemley, an attorney for the Rutland Herald, reluctantly agreed with the police department decision, telling the press “Anything that has to do with the detection and investigation of a crime, everybody agrees you cannot get, and that exemption lasts forever.” The court did however encourage the state legislature to reconsider the broad exemption. It also held that investigative records that truly related to personel matters within a police department should be subject to a balancing test against public interest and employee privacy. The court resolved this in its second decision by requiring the release of records with the names of employees redacted.