Inside Stories

Right on Cue, the “Auditors” Visit City Hall

Just days after the Lowell Sun published an article about their presence in Chelmsford and other local communities, and on the same morning the Sun published an editorial about them, a group calling themselves “The First Amendment Auditors” showed up at Lowell City Hall.

The group popped into the Clerk, Treasurer and Assessors offices, before heading upstairs and visiting City Manager Tom Golden.

Of their stop in his office, City Clerk Michael Geary tells InsideLowell; “They were here. Killed them with kindness. They lost interest.”

The movement, which has sprung up across the country, is comprised of individuals who specifically film public sector employees in government buildings and public property to test the rights to film in a public space. The so-called “audits” are often posted to YouTube and yield various results. An uneventful audit is characterized as “passing a test,” while a confrontational audit, usually an attempt by an employee to interfere with the filming, gets a failing grade. Many audits are non-violent and uneventful. But some encounters have escalated dramatically, resulting in arrest and litigation.

From what we’ve gathered, the Mill City visit was non-violent and uneventful, though we’ll have to wait till the “Auditors” post their exploits online to find out whether it qualifies as a passing grade.


2 responses to “Right on Cue, the “Auditors” Visit City Hall”

  1. El Guapo says:

    Having read The Sun piece on the “auditors,” I was unimpressed by their antics. While they can film, within limits (public employees while they are working in a publicly accessible space, during regular business hours) there is absolutely no obligation for municipal employees to answer their questions, narrate their own daily lives for a camera, or entertain the name calling antics of these . Municipal employees are hired to conduct the business of the City… the business of the people of Lowell. These self-appointed “auditors” are carrying out a Private Commercial Activity thus meeting with or interacting with them is not the business of the City.

  2. […] InsideLowell reported that so-called “First Amendment Auditors” showed up at Lowell City Hall. Their appearance occurred the same morning of a Lowell Sun Editorial about their antics and just […]

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