Agency must provide records on program for ex-felons, attorney general rules

bfortune@herald-leader.comJune 15, 2012 

The Attorney General's office has ruled that the Bluegrass Workforce Investment Board violated the Open Records Act when it refused to provide information to the president of the River Park Neighborhood Association on a controversial residential work-training program for ex-felons.

The Workforce Investment Board had said the request by neighborhood president Charles Payne was not on proper forms and that it did not state the specific public records he wanted.

Payne requested information on a project that is planned for the former Excepticon property at 1393 Trent Boulevard, owned by the Bluegrass Area Development District. Payne also asked for information on an existing re-entry program for ex-felons administered by the Workforce Investment Board.

Lenny Stoltz II, executive director of the development district and spokesman for the Workforce Investment Board, denied Payne's request, saying Payne did not use the open records request form prescribed by the Development District board.

Stoltz also said Payne's request had sought information by asking a series of questions, rather than framing his request with "enough specificity to allow the agency to identify and locate the records."

In an opinion dated June 5, the Attorney General said not granting an open records request because it was not on a correct form was rejected in a similar case as a "hackneyed canard."

To Stoltz's argument that Payne did not adequately identify the records he wanted, the Attorney General said Payne's request was adequate for a reasonable person to locate and produce the records sought.

Dodd Dixon, a spokesperson for the development district on the Trent Boulevard project, said there are no plans to appeal the decision. "We'll comply to the best of our ability."

Beverly Fortune: (859) 231-3251. Twitter: @BFortune2010

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