Attorney General Beshear Allowed to Intervene in Lawsuit Over WKU, Open Records

Apr 3, 2017

Credit WKU

An attorney representing Western Kentucky University’s student newspaper thinks an open records lawsuit could take several months to resolve.

The comments from Mike Abate come after a hearing related to the lawsuit scheduled for Monday was canceled.

WKU is suing the College Heights Herald and the University of Kentucky student newspaper to prevent the release of documents related to potential sexual harassment allegations made against university employees.

The hearing was canceled after WKU agreed to a motion allowing the state Attorney General’s office to intervene on the side of the newspapers. Abate says it’s a key development.

“I think the most important thing about the AG coming in is it signals how important of an issue this is. It is very rare for the Attorney General to get involved in open records act litigation—almost unprecedented, really, in the recent wave of cases involving some of the student newspapers," Abate said.

WKU says it’s withholding the documents in order to protect the privacy of those who have filed complaints about sexual harassment at the school.

No date has been set for the next hearing related to the lawsuit.