Appeals court rules in favor of papers in open-records case

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of two newspapers in a sharply worded opinion that found the state unlawfully denied access to records documenting child abuse. The ruling orders the agency to pay about $1 million in legal fees and penalties.

Writing for the three-judge panel, Judge Irv Maze criticized the Cabinet for Health and Family Services for its “systematic and categorical disregard for the rule of law.”

The ruling Friday is the latest in a legal fight between the cabinet and the newspapers – The Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald-Leader – over access to records detailing child abuse deaths and serious injuries.

Maze acknowledges taxpayers would ultimately pay the hefty fees and penalties, but says denying the public’s “right to know” would be an even greater price.

Categories: News, State News