Lawsuits challenge shielding of state records

Sep 11, 2012

Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is facing court challenges over attempts to keep records from the public.

At issue is the use of a public records exemption successfully pushed by Jindal and added to state law during his first term.

Shreveport-based Willis-Knighton Health System sued the Department of Transportation and Development over its refusal to provide information about a highway extension project. The department claimed an exemption tied to the governor's "deliberative process," a permitted exemption under the open records law.

The lawsuit may be near settlement; a Tuesday hearing was postponed after officials said they would release the documents.

But a separate lawsuit over another use of the exemption is pending.

The News-Star newspaper in Monroe has sued the Education Department for denying a public records request using the exemption.