In a functioning democracy, law enforcement is accountable to the people. That can't happen if the people don't know what their police officers are doing – and now comes a letter from Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery that could further restrict the flow of information.

His letter says he will "indemnify" any police agencies who get sued for following his directive to refer requests for public information to him. That's the carrot, says David Bodney, Co-Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr's Media and Entertainment Law Group and an attorney who represents The Republic and other local media outlets.

Bodney says Montgomery could make the "unprecedented" move of sending a bill for legal fees to any police agency that fails to follow his directive if it releases evidence that results in a change of venue.

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