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In the News: Manza Arthur

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In the News: Manza Arthur
Manza Arthur COURTESY PHOTO

Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin has appointed attorney Manza Arthur as supervisor of public records. Arthur replaces former Supervisor Rebecca Murray, who has been promoted to General Counsel.

An experienced public records attorney, Arthur has been with Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Public Records Division since 2017, most recently serving as senior attorney and assistant director of the division.

Born and raised in Ghana, Arthur immigrated to the United States in 2008. She is a graduate of Suffolk Law School and Worcester State University, and also attended the University of Cape Coast, in Ghana.

Under the Massachusetts Public Records Law, the supervisor is responsible for issuing determinations on public records appeals. Appeals may be filed if the requester believes that an agency has not complied with the Public Records Law, but Massachusetts governors have long claimed that their office is exempt from the law. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has previously ruled that the records of the governor are exempt, though the records of the agencies under the Governor remain in dispute.

Early this year, Galvin drafted a proposal that would explicitly apply the Public Records Law to the governor’s office, beginning with the new governor’s term in January 2023. Though Galvin supports making the Legislature subject to the law as well, his hope is that a more narrowly tailored expansion, supported by all of the current gubernatorial candidates, has a better chance of passage.