The Barren County Fiscal Court will be required to provide an investigative report on the Barren County Detention Center to the Glasgow Daily Times unless it pursues a second appeal, according to a ruling released Thursday morning. The court will have the opportunity to redact information, but redactions must be specifically allowed under Kentucky Revised Statute 61.878.
Barren Circuit Court Judge Phil Patton affirmed the attorney general’s earlier opinion that the fiscal court violated open records law when it denied the Daily Times access to investigative documents compiled by private investigator Michael J. Ober and paid for with tax dollars.
Thirty days are allowed to appeal Patton’s ruling, but if an appeal is not filed, the fiscal court will have five days to release the records.
Ober’s documents, which have thus far only been seen by Patton, include a list of jail employees and their contact information, jail policy manuals, a document titled “Barren Questions,” 18 audio recorded interviews, 14 typed interview notes and a document titled “Barren County Jail Investigation.”
Ober was paid $3,500 for an investigation that took 11 days over a three-month period. When it was time to present his findings to the court on May 1, Ober gave a brief summary of his investigative report rather than sharing his complete investigation in open session. The court then discussed the full report’s status as an open record, and voted for Ober to turn his full investigative material over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation instead of lodge it as an open record with the county.
For the full story, read Friday's print or e-Edition of the Glasgow Daily Times.