A federal judge has overruled the District of Columbia’s attempt to toss a lawsuit claiming that, at his former job, Prince William County Police Chief Peter Newsham created a “watchlist” of lawyers, activists and journalists whose requests for public records would be delayed or denied.
Judge James Boasberg denied the district’s request to dismiss the lawsuit filed by attorney Amy Phillips. The suit claimed that Newsham, as chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, designated people whose requests would receive extra scrutiny to limit the release of information that “may lead to criticism of the department.”
Phillips filed the lawsuit against Washington on Feb. 2 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The office of D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed a motion to dismiss the case on March 11, but that was denied May 2.