FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A judge has ordered Kentucky State University to let the attorney general examine some documents about alleged sexual misconduct of some of the school’s employees.
The University of Kentucky’s student newspaper asked to see the records last year. But Kentucky State University officials denied the request, saying it would disclose private information. The newspaper appealed that denial to Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, who has jurisdiction over the state’s open records law.
Beshear asked to view the documents in private before he made a decision on whether they should be public. But Kentucky State University officials refused to let Beshear see the documents.
Judge Thomas Wingate ruled Friday not letting Beshear to look at the documents “could only thwart the public interest of transparency in government.”
“Today’s ruling by Judge Wingate is a win for transparency and accountability. The statutory power of the Attorney General to confidentially review public documents is necessary to avoid turning Kentucky’s Open Records Act into a ‘trust me’ law. Without the review, there can be no government transparency, as a bad actor can easily cheat the system. In the context of a university, that would allow an institution to hide serious issues related to sexual assault, to ignore victims, and to tell parents and families that a given campus may be safer than it is,” said Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear.