The "Local Designee" position was created in 2014 under a bill which amended the state's speed camera law. Among the requirements of the position was that records of complaints be kept on file and be made available to inspection. On February 20, 2014, Mr Layer requested access to such complaints issued during the month of January 2015. "Local Designee" David McBain responded that they had received 14 requests for citation review. "However, on April 6, 2015, Local Designee McBain again contacted Petitioner, by telephone and e-mail, informing Petitioner that Assistant Montgomery County Attorney, David Stevenson, instructed him NOT to provide the 14 requests previously identified by Local Designee McBain as responsive to Petitioner’s request. " wrote Layer in his petition to the court. Layer had specifically agreed to the redaction of any identifiable information from the records. The county responded that they would only provide the documents if Layer re-entered his request under the Public Information Act. This would have, among other things, allowed the county an additional 30 days to delay providing the documents even though more than a month had already elapsed, and permitted them to charge fees or claim specific exemptions to disclosure under the MPIA. The petition requests the court provide a "writ of mandamus" requiring that McBain release the documents under article 21-809(b)(1)(ix)5.
David McBain and his superior Captain Tom Didone were personally involved in the informal "workgroup" which wrote the reform bill creating the "Local Designee" position, having affirmed that Delegate James Malone called them into meetings to discuss the legislation (to which opponents of speed cameras were not invited). In testimony to the legislature Captain Didone used the term "Ombudsman" to describe the position, a term which implies a degree of independence. The Maryland Drivers Alliance has been critical of the so called "reform" measure, with our position being that what was required was OUTSIDE oversight and/or scrutiny, and that local governments would merely assign the "ombudsman" role to an existing employee within the program who would act to defend the agency's policies rather than scrutinizing them, Since the act went into effect, Montgomery County has disavowed the use of the term "ombudsman" in writing several times.