Denying requests when investigations are open

It’s very common — possibly ubiquitous — that a government agency will deny an open records request when there is an ongoing, open law enforcement investigation that revolves around the person or situation with respect to whom the records were requested.

That’s usually frustrating because why should a public document become a sealed document just because the government has launched an investigation?

At any rate, a Republican state legislator in Kentucky used this feature of the Kentucky law to establish that a political opponent was under investigation. The GOP legislator filed a request for records, and the request was then denied by the state’s attorney general on the grounds that the Dem state legislator whose records were requested was involved somehow in an ongoing investigation.

It appears that the GOP legislator didn’t want the records as much as he wanted a public verification of the fact that there was an investigation.

Interesting uses of FOIA, #139:

AG says office investigating Ky. senator.


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