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Response to Motion for DR

The State Journal on Monday filed its response in opposition to Kentucky State University Foundation's request for Supreme Court review of the Court of Appeals' March 1, 2024, ruling that the Foundation is a public agency under the open records law and that its records are subject to public inspection.…

The newspaper's response comes on the heels of reports that the Kentucky State University Board of Regents on April 21 notified the Foundation that if it pursues this open records case against The State Journal, the university will "dissolve our relationship with the foundation and request an immediate transfer of all funds to Kentucky State University."……

In their response for The State Journal, attorneys Jeremy Rogers and Suzanne Marino of the Louisville office of Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP, urge the Supreme Court to deny the foundation's request for review, noting the absence of any "special reason" for granting review as required by the rules of appellate procedure.

"[T]he Foundation does not contend this presents any unsettled or novel legal questions. To the contrary, the law on the Foundation’s status as a public agency is so settled that the Foundation’s intractable defiance of that reality is among the reasons the lower courts agreed upon the appropriateness of awarding attorneys’ fees to the State Journal. The issue was fully litigated and decided by this Court in 1992 on grounds
that transcend the minor changes in wording to KRS 61.870(1) as well as the superficial changes to the way the Foundation operates. The Foundation sought a do-over again beginning in 2021, but the Attorney General, the Franklin Circuit Court, and a unanimous Court of Appeals panel have all rejected the Foundation’s attempt to evade the Open Records Act. There is no need for this Court to delay the process further."

The relevant facts and the relevant law remain the same since the Supreme Court first ruled that the foundation was a public agency, subject to the open records law, in 1992, Rogers and Marino assert.

"Unfortunately, what also remains the same is the Foundation’s indefatigable quest to
escape public accountability. In defiance of this Court’s prior opinion, the Foundation takes the position that it ceased to be a public agency."

The Attorney General, the Franklin Circuit Court, and a unanimous panel of the Court of Appeals emphatically disagreed, they conclude, "the Foundation simply seeks to drag out its unceasing campaign to escape public scrutiny."

On this basis, they urge the Court to "reject that invitation and deny the Foundation’s motion for discretionary review."

Will the foundation at long last abandon its efforts to avoid public oversight and cease squandering resources intended "for the benefit of Kentucky State University" in this fruitless litigation? Or will it persist, risking dissolution of its relationship with Kentucky State University and the apparent reasons for its existence.

For now, we wait.