AG Beshear Wants WKU Open Records Lawsuit to Proceed

May 4, 2017

Kentucky's attorney general is asking a court to deny Western Kentucky University’s request for a stay in its lawsuit against the campus newspaper. 

WKU is suing the College Heights Herald after the school denied the newspaper's open records request for documents related to sexual misconduct investigations involving university employees.  The university maintains the records are not subject to disclosure under the Kentucky Open Records Act.

WKU is asking for a stay until a similar case is resolved involving the University of Kentucky and its student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel.

Tom Kerrick, the attorney representing WKU, says in the motion that a stay would save time and reduce legal expenses. 

However, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is asking the court to deny the motion.  Beshear found that WKU violated the state’s Open Records Act and intervened in the lawsuit as a plaintiff.

In a response to the university's motion, Beshear says the issues" in WKU's case are "distinct and independent from those in the UK case.”  Beshear adds that open records requests take precedence over the court docket and should go to trial at the earliest possible date.  

A hearing on WKU’s request for a stay is scheduled for May 15 in Warren Circuit Court.