PR firms rakes in $50,000 helping schools manage crisis

A Hartford public relations firm billed Darien taxpayers over $50,000 during the past year to help the school district manage public perception of the special education crisis.
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Open governance ranked 8th in top 10 stories of 2013

Over the last year, Darien’s government has been scrutinized for practices that have many in town questioning its ability to operate openly. Compliance with the Freedom of Information Act has been a problem for several elected bodies, but some say these volunteers should be treated with less scrutiny since they help the town on their own time.
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District lawyers deny access to PR communications

School lawyers claim the work performed by a public relations firm should not be made public.

The lawyers, Shipman & Goodwin, a firm that represents the majority of public school districts in Connecticut, including Darien, decided that the discussions between the district and Duby McDowell Communications will not be disclosed, citing an exemption clause under the Freedom of Information Act known as lawyer-client privilege.
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