Kentucky AG: State Police violated law in denying requests for agency’s database of arrest and traffic citations

In a definitive win for open records advocates, the state attorney general’s office has found Kentucky State Police violated the state public records law by denying Courier Journal requests for the agency’s database of arrest and traffic citations.

The agency offered several reasons why it thought the database was exempt from disclosure. In addition to claiming the records would expose private information, the agency claimed it lacked the technical ability to separate legitimately confidential information from public information without creating a new record, which is not required under the law.

But the attorney general’s office knocked down those arguments in a forceful April 17 decision, declaring that the agency has no valid legal reason to refuse Courier Journal a redacted copy of the database, which can easily be produced by the agency. 

Michael Abate, one of Courier Journal’s lawyers, called the ruling a “strong statement” and a reminder to state agencies about their legal responsibility to provide documents and data to the citizens who own it. Read more…