ABA Journal: The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires every public official to release public documents within 15 business days of an FOIA request. The government official is required by law to comply, whether the request is made by the press or by the public. The office of the Attorney General (AG) has the responsibility of enforcing the law.
Ironically, it is that very office which has fought for eight months to dodge and delay every FOIA request submitted by Newberry resident and former James Brown trustee Adele Pope.
Among the FOIA requests Pope filed last summer with the AG’s office:
1) Pope asked for a copy of the Legacy Trust. This is the trust created by former AG Henry McMaster when he took over Brown’s $100 million music empire in the 2009 settlement deal with six of Brown’s alleged children and his companion, Tomi Rae Hynie.
2) Pope requested documents related to why the Legacy Trust trustee, who was appointed by McMaster and serves at Wilson’s pleasure, valued the music empire of legend James Brown at less than $4.7 million upon his death on Dec. 25, 2006. (For several years, Brown had earned royalties of $4-5 million a year.)