Mississippi newspaper wins dispute over government records

The Mississippi Supreme Court is siding with a newspaper in its longstanding effort to get documents from a state agency.

Posted: Nov 16, 2017 7:02 PM

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Supreme Court is siding with a newspaper in its longstanding effort to get documents from a state agency.

In a decision Thursday, justices said a chancery judge ruled correctly that documents from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources are public records. Officials had claimed the documents were investigative records and did not have to be disclosed under the state's Public Records Act.

The Sun Herald sought the records in 2012. State Auditor Stacey Pickering's office subpoenaed the records and obtained a ruling that said the subpoena prevented Marine Resources from handing over the records.

The Sun Herald reports that justices on Thursday also ordered the auditor's office to pay the newspaper's legal fees of about $37,000.

Officials have 14 days to request a rehearing.

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