No right to know on city drug tests - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

No right to know on city drug tests

April 5, 2006

Albany -- A new drug policy allows the city of Albany to test all its employees, but city leaders don't want you to know if those tests show a police officer or someone driving a garbage truck is on drugs.

Seventeen employees were picked for the first round of testing, but that's the only information the city will release. They won't tell us whether anyone tested positive because they say the results are covered under laws that keep medical records confidential.

City officials say we should trust them to take proper action against any employee who violates the policy.

"These test results themselves are medical records and so the actual test results, we are not allowed to release," said city attorney Nathan Davis.

"If somebody is tested positive then we are going to take the appropriate personal actions, and that could be anything from suspensions and or terminations," said city manager Alfred Lott.

WALB got a legal opinion today from a lawyer who says some information about the drug screening falls under open records laws and should be released.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=CityDrugTests