Adding insult to injury: University of Louisville denies request for emails relating to erasure of former president’s computer

The plot thickens in the ongoing tale of University of Louisville abuses exposed in a forensic audit released in June. The disclosure that the University of Louisville erased former President James Ramsey’s computer – for the purported use of the acting president’s chief aide in an uncharacteristic money saving measure – was one of many…

Practicing what it preaches: House announces closed discussion of pension reform in spite of open meetings mandate

The Lexington-Herald Leader reports that  “all House [of Representative] members will meet Tuesday in closed session at the Capitol to discuss pension reform.” This is not an auspicious beginning to the legislature’s latest effort to address Kentucky’s pension crisis. The reasons are as clear as the law the General Assembly enacted more than forty years…

“What is the harm” when an agency conducts the public’s business privately?

Nearly five years after the Advocate-Messenger issued an open meetings challenge to the Danville Board of Commissioner’s actions in purchasing a building to house its public works department, the Kentucky Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case on August 16, 2017. So much for “proceedings arising under [the judicial enforcement provision of the open…

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat: authorities’ handling of open meetings and records disputes yields conflicting results

In a short span of 24 hours Kentucky’s open meetings and open records laws were handed a significant victory and a serious defeat. The thrill of victory: Bluegrass Institute v. Jefferson County Board of Education The victory occurred when the Bluegrass Institute and its Center for Open Government prevailed in an open meetings appeal involving the…

Bluegrass Institute News Release: Center for Open Government scores victory in JCPS open meetings appeal

  For Immediate Release: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 (FRANKFORT, Ky.) — The Kentucky Attorney General has ruled in favor of the Bluegrass Institute and its Center for Open Government in an open meetings appeal involving the Jefferson County Board of Education. Assistant Attorney General James Herrick in a decision released Monday agreed with the Bluegrass…

Kentucky’s pension crisis: The wrong question

Editor’s note: The Bluegrass Beacon column is a weekly syndicated statewide newspaper column posted on the Bluegrass Institute website after being released to and published by newspapers statewide. It’s apparent from KET’s Kentucky Tonight forum on the public-pension crisis last night and legislators’ comments about the issue in Sunday’s Madisonville Messenger that substantially addressing the…

A helpful hint for public officials: if the action you are contemplating contains the word “secret,” it probably violates the open meetings law

My first law school exam presented a complex hypothetical involving multiple jurisdictional challenges faced by the fictitious manufacturer of a product called “Diaper Doo” –  a product that could only come from the warped mind of a law school professor. The object was to identify as many of those jurisdictional challenges as possible and to…