Attorney General: WKU Open Records Denials Were Illegal

Feb 2, 2017

Credit WKU

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has found that Western Kentucky University officials acted illegally by turning down open records requests from two student newspaper representatives.

The Daily News of Bowling Green reports that Beshear concluded in a Jan. 26 ruling that WKU's decisions to turn down open records requests from Matthew Smith of the Kentucky Kernel and Nicole Ares of the College Heights Herald violated the state's open records statute.

Both students last fall sought access to records related to sexual misconduct investigations.

The attorney general wrote that Smith and Ares must be allowed access to the disputed records, with the exception of personal identifiers of the complaintant and witnesses.

WKU general counsel Deborah Wilkins said said in an email Monday that the university is considering whether to appeal.