Friday, December 2, 2011

Whitley County clerk ignores open records decision

The Whitley County Clerk has decided to ignore an opinion of the Attorney General's office that she is charging too much for copies and that record-seekers are within the law when using their own scanners to make copies.

Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz told the News Journal that she is posting her own rules, setting a fee of 50 cents per page for record copying and barring the use of hand-held scanners. Both practices violate an attorney general's opinion issued Oct. 13.

Allison Martin, communications director for Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, told the News Journal that since the ruling wasn't appealed within 30 days, it has the force of law.

"The Whitley County Clerk is in violation of the law by charging 50 cents per copy," Martin said.

Clerk Schwartz is the president of the Kentucky County Clerks Association. She said the association will try to convince the legislature to set the copying fee at 50 cents per page. The current allowable fee is 10 cents per page. In the meantime, unless her practice is challenged in court, she is continuing to defy the law.

Read the News Journal story here.

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