Attorney general rules in favor of newsroom in open records dispute
An ongoing open records dispute between the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and U of L may come to an end, as Attorney General Jack Conway’s office demanded that the records be released.
The university had not released the emails and memos related to an audit report, regarding the recent string of high-dollar emebezzlement cases at the university. KCIR then filed an appeal with the attorney general’s office. In a ruling dated Aug. 27, Assistant Attorney General Matt James said that the university must release the requested emails and memos.
Brendan McCarthy, managing editor of KCIR, said the newsroom has yet to obtain the documents, and the university may still appeal the ruling.
“As a nonprofit investigative newsroom, we seek to increase transparency in government and public institutions,” he said. “Regarding the University of Louisville, this public records battle is still pending. We will continue to report on this issue and seek to make public the records surrounding this examination of the school’s financial controls.”
When asked if the ruling would set any kind of new precedent for the university’s open records request system, university spokesman Mark Hebert said: “The University of Louisville handles hundreds of Open Records Requests each year without problems or complaints. However, we are always looking for ways to improve our process and respond to records requests in a thorough, legal and timely manner … the current process works 99% of the time.”
KCIR had previously requested the results of an outside audit meant to help the university analyze a string of high-dollar embezzlement cases. The university approved payment of more than $250,000 to auditor Strothman and Company for these results. A timeline of recent embezzlement cases at the university can be found here.