Beshear files motion to intervene in WKU’s lawsuit against college newspapers

Published: Mar. 23, 2017 at 2:04 PM CDT
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Attorney General Andy Beshear has filed a motion in Warren Circuit Court seeking to intervene in Western Kentucky University’s lawsuit against two student newspapers.

In January, Beshear found WKU violated the Open Records Act by denying records to the College Heights Herald and the University of Kentucky’s paper, the Kentucky Kernel. Because the WKU didn’t provide the records Beshear requested for confidential review, Beshear said the university failed to show that the records were protected by the exceptions claimed by the university.

“The anti-transparency stance by the leadership at Western Kentucky University is an attempt to turn Kentucky’s Open Records Act into a ‘trust me’ law,” Beshear said. “A university should lead by example and promote transparency, not run away from it. It’s my hope that WKU’s incoming president will help steer the university away from this legal battle and allow my office to review the documents.”

The Attorney General has statutory authority to review confidential records related to an appeal.

“Without a confidential review by my office, institutions can hide serious issues related to sexual assault, ignore victims and tell parents and families that a given campus may be safer than it is,” Beshear said.

A hearing is scheduled April 3 in Warren Circuit Court at 9:00 a.m.