Friday, November 02, 2012

EKU to appeal attorney general's ruling on release of Hoskins documents

This from the Herald-Leader:
Eastern Kentucky University, which said Monday it would comply with a decision by the state Attorney General's Office that it must release personnel documents regarding former EKU Center for the Arts director Debra Hoskins, is now refusing to release the documents and is appealing the decision.

"The university's initial intention was to comply with the attorney general's opinion by releasing the requested records," a statement from EKU said. "However, upon further review and at the urging of Ms. Hoskins' attorney, the university will be appealing the attorney general's ruling."

The statement said that under the open-records law, only the Richmond university or the Herald-Leader, which initially requested the documents, could appeal the decision.

The statement said, "Further, to ensure Ms. Hoskins can directly advocate her interests in this matter, the university will also ask the court for a declaration of rights and make Ms. Hoskins a party to that part of the action."

Hoskins' attorney, Ephraim W. Helton of Danville, said making Hoskins "a party to the action is the proper way to proceed."

He said, "Debra and Eastern Kentucky University entered into a settlement agreement which resolved all issues between them regarding the separation of her employment, and that agreement specifically set forth that all the terms and conditions set forth in the agreement would remain confidential.

"At this juncture, we believe Eastern has an obligation to defend the agreement, and it's our desire that it remain confidential as to financial terms, and we believe her personnel file should not be subject to public disclosure."

Herald-Leader attorney Kif H. Skidmore said, "EKU appears to be constrained by its termination arrangement with Hoskins; however, the law is clear that public employees and agencies cannot circumvent the Open Records Act by signing confidentiality agreements." ...

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Folks shouldn't be suprise that EKU is putting up a fight on this one. THis is old SOP from previous administration - letting people go but requiring that they sign non-disclosure agreements.

Makes you wonder what both she and EKU are trying to hide. I am inclined to guess Hoskins did something way over the line and EKU knew they needed to can her but didn't want public knowing about her indiscressions and the embarassment or lack of confidence it would bring on the new endeavor.

It must be pretty bad for the university and Hoskins to seek to supress it with this settlement agreement defense. Can't imagine the lack of trust folks would have in state institutions and the potential for cover ups if we allowed state power brokers to inter into these agreements to avoid public review of their actions.

Something really stinks here.