"Please provide copies of the scoring sheets used to rate each potential site for basing the F-35s, including but not limited to the Burlington Airport."
The Air Force had released the Burlington scoring sheets to Senator Sanders in June 2012, and he had shared them with some constituents, but in response to the FOIA request for scoring sheets, the Air Force provided only blank pages -- 205 of them.
Explaining the importance of seeing all the scoring sheets for all the locations, the federal complaint stated:
"" the scoring sheet for the Burlington International Airport was released to United States Senator Bernard Sanders, who provided it to members of the public. The scores assigned included purely factual information such as whether there are homes within the noise and safety areas and such as the total score assigned to each of the other airports.
"The scores released for Burlington are unambiguously erroneous -- at the Burlington site, there are thousands of such homes but the scoring sheet erroneously stated there are none.
"The total score Burlington received thus may have put it at the top of the chart -- in error. Thus it is necessary for the public to compare Burlington's total score, which was released, to those of its competitors, which have not been."
Air Force Neither Admits Nor Denies Errors
The Air Force has not publicly responded to or corrected its manifest error on the scoring sheet, even though its environmental impact report does not make the same error. The federal complaint also criticizes the Air Force for releasing some scoring sheets but not others, calling this a violation of the law:
""there is no basis upon which the Air Force may lawfully refuse to produce the scoring sheets or any part of them, having released the Burlington scores".