Bluegrass Beacon: Stay the course despite the scandal

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. This column has been updated to reflect new developments since it was originally released to newspapers. An initial statement by House Majority Leader Jonathan Shell, R-Lancaster, that then-Speaker…

UofL’s sloppy open meetings practices expose it to the risk of successful legal challenge by its former basketball coach (and others)

The Courier Journal reports that Rick Pitino was “very humiliated, very hurt” by his treatment at a June 28 meeting of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees. In particular, he was wounded by comments made by Board Vice Chair John Schnatter who, according to the article, participated by video teleconference in a closed session…

Bluegrass Beacon: Christmas coal, meet government grinches

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. ‘Tis the season for another edition of “Liberty Boosters and Busters.” Liberty Booster: The State Journal reporter Alfred Miller is being sued by Finance Cabinet bureaucrats after filing…

Rejecting or respecting the public’s right to know: the KRS pension report versus the House sexual harassment report

On December 1 House leaders released the investigative report into sexual harassment claims against Jeff Hoover and other legislators first brought to the public’s attention one month earlier. The report was prepared at the House’s request by Louisville law firm Middleton and Reutlinger. Owing to the refusal of some legislative staffers to cooperate, and the…

Bluegrass Beacon – Clear the air: Reveal retirees’ benefits

When addressing generous benefits received by Kentucky Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) retirees in this column, a voluminous email response – mostly critical – is the norm. “I seriously have issues with using the word ‘lavish’ for teachers’ pensions,” a science teacher in Jefferson County wrote. “The word produces images of wealthy retirees sitting out on…

The “cost” of access: when agencies frustrate the public’s right to know by charging excessive fees

The News-Democrat & Leader reports that the attorney general last week ruled against the Logan County jailer in an open records dispute involving a magistrate’s request for jail commissary records. What was the issue that compelled a county magistrate to appeal the county jailer’s handling of the magistrate’s records request? The issue addressed by the…

“Preliminary” pension reports and perennial problems with public access

In one of the earliest legal challenges to Kentucky’s Open Records Law, the City of Louisville objected to disclosure of its internal affairs unit’s investigative files involving allegations of police misconduct. The city’s objections were based on the exceptions to the Open Records Law that permit nondisclosure of  “[p]reliminary drafts, notes, correspondence with private individuals,…