Center for Investigative Reporting sues University of Louisville Foundation

From the KCIR web site: Why We Are Suing The University Of Louisville Foundation by: Brendan McCarthy

“The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting filed a lawsuit Thursday against the University of Louisville Foundation, the latest step in a long public records fight.

“For seven months, our newsroom has sought the release of ethics and disclosure forms, as well as payroll and financial documents, from the university’s nonprofit fundraising organization.

“Throughout this long process, the Foundation has resisted or ignored our records requests, delayed and fought to block our access to these public records.

“We are filing this lawsuit because information about the finances and administration of a public university and its fundraising unit is in the public’s interest. Courts have repeatedly it made clear: the Foundation is a public agency and part of U of L.

“It is our journalistic mission to push for transparency in state institutions and government. It is our job to promote the public’s right to know what is going on behind closed doors.

“Kentuckians deserve to know more about the 46-year-old nonprofit that manages the school’s roughly $730 million endowment. This same public agency has taken out a $38 million loan from the university it’s set up to support. Meanwhile, trustees have complained about a “culture of secrecy” at the Foundation. Answers about who runs the nonprofit, and how, are few and far between. . . . (READ MORE AND VIEW COURT DOCUMENTS HERE)

West Buechel: Dark Money – Part I

In a bold and unprecedented move, West Buechel’s beleaguered Mayor, Rick Richards, clearly signals the world that he can spend public funds any way he sees fit, without answering to anyone. With the assistance of his long time associate and business partner, City Clerk-Treasurer Kim Richards, a check for $10,350 was issued and cashed this August.

Rick and Kim Richards refuse to disclose to whom the money was paid and for what public purpose it was expended.

Our Open Records request for a copy of the check, along with all documentation supporting the spending, resulted in the receipt of a redacted check image, with the name of the payee and the purpose of the payment blacked out. We also received a written statement from Ms. Richards that “the City is not in possession  of any supporting documentation.

check-image-600px

We plan to submit this issue to the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office for an Open Records decision, based upon our opinion that all expenditures of public funds are open to public inspection under Kentucky law.

The public has a right to know.

Fox wins Open Records suit against West Buechel

By an order dated August 29, 2016, Jefferson County, Kentucky, Circuit Court Judge Ann Bailey Smith granted the motion of Thomas Fox for Partial Summary Judgment in an Open Records Act lawsuit he had filed in November, 2015 against the City of West Buechel, Kentucky. This Judgment ordered City officials to allow Fox to inspect certain specified banking records and other documents.

Summary Judgment Order – Open Records