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Tue September 1, 2009
By Tony McVeigh
Frankfort, KY – The Kentucky attorney general's office says the Pennyrile District Health Department subverted the intent of the state's Open Records Act.
Reporter Sarah Hogsed, of the Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville, wanted copies of all restaurant inspection reports for 2008 and 2009.
But the Pennyrile District Health Department demanded Hogsed appear in person, produce a photo ID, use the agency's pre-printed request form and pay all costs associated with producing the records.
Hogsed refused, saying Kentucky law does not support the requirements.
In an eight-page opinion, the attorney general's office agrees, and says the health department "subverted the intent of the Open Records Act by failing to afford Hogsed timely access to the requested records."
Also, "in the interest of absolute clarity," the opinion lectures the health department on the tenets of the Open Records Act.
Any party aggrieved by the opinion may appeal to circuit court.