BG Man Asks Court to Open Records Refused by City

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A Bowling Green man who has been battling with the City Attorney through the editorial page is appealing a denied open records request to the Warren Circuit Court.

Al Baker is asking the court to force the city to turn over copies of emails and memos between Mayor Sandy Jones and City Attorney Gene Harmon. Baker's attorney and son, Matt Baker, says his client is looking for correspondence related to discussions about a financial disagreement with former Sloan Convention Center Board member Steve Catron. The city has ruled the correspondence is covered by attorney-client privilege.

Jones says in November of 20030, she and city staff had "preliminary discussions" about the idea of forgoing any future legal action against Catron in exchange for his waiving $21,000 in oustanding attorneys fees. Those discussions, the Mayor says, were based upon the recommendations in a 7-page confidential memo written by Harmon, and released into public record.

"It was a valid recommendation based on the evidence, but we later found ou that there was more evidence, and that changed the recommendation," Jones says. The city is now suing Catron and his wife in an effort to reclaim $745,000 in alleged overbilling and missing public funds.

In a series of letters to the editor of the Park City Daily News, Baker accused of the Mayor and City Attorney of negligence and poor legal practices. Harmon answered those letters with 2 of his own, saying Baker was misinformed.

"Each have been very critical of the other, so in order to be better informed, that's why Mr. Baker wants the records," Baker's attorney, Matt Baker says.

"I expect that if he was misinformed, he would admit as much. But if not, he would like the opportunity to follow-up appropriately."