Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Beshear cites earlier opinion to show foundation violated act by denying records

Attorney General Andy Beshear relied on 16-ORD-164 and the Open Records statute in determining that the University of Louisville Foundation did not timely respond and did not fulfill its burden of proving an unreasonable burden.

On Aug. 31, 2016, the Attorney General issued an opinion in the all of In re: Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting/University of Louisville Foundation, 16-ORD-192.

Brendan McCarthy requested to inspect and/or copy certain records from the foundation during a specified time period.

The Foundation responded that the request was overly broad and blank, stating that thousands of records are likely within the request, stating it would take a large amount of time to find and review such records, therefore denying the request.

McCarthy appealed after this denial.

16-ORD-164 also was a request to the foundation from McCarthy, where Beshear had denied a similar response by the foundation of denial of records.

Beshear noted that similar request from others were not claimed to be burdensome for the foundation, even though they had a similar volume of records that needed to be combed through. He also added that many of the records McCarthy requested were likely not protected, so each will likely not need to be reviewed to see if it contains exempt information.

The Attorney General's Office also noted that McCarthy requested to inspect, which would also reduce the burden on the foundation.

He ultimately found that the foundation violated the Open Records Act by misplacing its reliance on the burdensome exception and failing to timely respond to McCarthy’s request.

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