Bluegrass Politics spotlights a great case from Kentucky.
In 1983, road contractor Leonard Lawson pled guilty to violating anti-trust laws. He gave a statement to the investigators with the Kentucky Attorney General’s office.
Fast forward 26 years. Lawson is on trial again, this time on charges that he and some associates conspired to pay for internal Transportation Cabinet estimates on road projects that his companies wanted to submit bids on in 2006-2007.
With a trial coming up, newspapers in Kentucky want to see what Lawson had to say for himself 26 years ago, so they filed a Kentucky Open Records Act request.
That request was denied, so they went to court.
On July 29, a Franklin Circuit Court judge Thomas Wingate issued a temporary restraining order barring the release of the old documents. He said a slight delay would not harm the public’s right to know.
The newspapers disagree. Their attorney said in a brief to the court, “The fact that the OAG did not disclose the records in the past 26 years is nothing more than a consequence of the fact that no one asked for them.”