Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cabinet appeals judge's order that it pay civil penalties and newspaper's legal fees

The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services has appealed a judge's order telling it to pay more than $6,000 in civil penalties and nearly $10,000 in attorney fees for acting in bad faith in resisting release of files related to Amy Dye, the 9-year-old Todd County girl who was murdered by her foster brother last year.

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled that the Todd County Standard was entitled to the fees and fines because the agency violated the state Open Records Act. "That ruling and others like it for the Louisville Courier-Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader are thought to be the first time a state agency had been fined for violating the open record laws since they were adopted in the 1970s," the Standard reports.

"The agency at first denied even having any records on Dye then said it did not have to give the records to the Standard because Dye was killed by a sibling and not a parent," the paper notes.

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