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Jeremy Rogers, a partner in the Louisville office of Dinsmore & Shohl and a widely recognized media law expert and open government advocate, today filed an answer on behalf of the Frankfort State Journal to an open records lawsuit filed by the Kentucky State University Foundation against the newspaper.

The Foundation filed suit against the State Journal in Franklin Circuit Court on October 22, challenging a September 23 attorney general's decision reaffirming a 1992 Kentucky Supreme Court opinion determining that the Foundation is a public agency subject to the open records law.…

Rogers — who is also co-director of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition — and co-counsel Suzanne Marino counterclaim that the Foundation denied the State Journal's request for records relating to payments made to former President M. Christopher Brown II — for travel and birthday parties — in the two years prior to his hasty departure, "and instead willfully withheld [the records] in violation of the Open Records Act under the claim that it is not a public agency as defined by the Open Records Act, despite the Supreme Court of Kentucky's specific holding to the contrary in Frankfort Pub. Co. v. Kentucky State University Foundation, Inc., 834 S.W.2d 681 (Ky. 1992)."

Given the strong position Kentucky's courts have taken in the past on the status of university foundations under the Commonwealth's open government laws, the Coalition will watch this case very closely.


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