Post-Gazette sues WVU over access to records
Share with others:
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette yesterday sued West Virginia University for failing to comply with the state's open records law.
The newspaper alleges the university committed numerous violations in its response to requests for documents related to the school's decision last fall to retroactively award a master's of business administration degree to Mylan Inc. executive Heather Bresch, daughter of West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin.
The lawsuit, filed in West Virginia Circuit Court of Monongalia County, was filed 30 days after the newspaper notified the university of its intention to sue as required under West Virginia law. A copy of the complaint was sent to WVU at that time and again yesterday. WVU assistant general counsel Shea Browning did not return a phone call seeking comment.
"The university has engaged in a constant and consistent practice of delay, evasion and concealment" in violation of West Virginia's Freedom of Information Act, according to the complaint.
The suit alleges that WVU failed to respond in a timely manner to a series of Freedom of Information Act requests, withheld public records that are not privileged or otherwise exempt from disclosure and concealed information by intentionally misapplying exemptions under the law.
WVU President Michael Garrison's e-mail, cell phone and landline records were among the documents that were improperly withheld, according to the complaint.
First Published April 16, 2008 12:00 am