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Newspaper sues Nagin administration

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“font-family: Verdana”>New Orleans’ daily newspaper has sued the

city, seeking various public records, including the credit card

statements of city employees and the e-mails of the city recovery

chief and the head of the city library

system.

“font-family: Verdana”>The Times-Picayune filed the suit Tuesday in

Civil District Court. The newspaper says the city has not fulfilled

three separate records requests filed between May and

December.

“font-family: Verdana”>The newspaper also has intervened in a

separate lawsuit that seeks to block the release of New Orleans

Police Department records of internal investigations into police

officers, including those involved in a fatal New Year’s Eve

shooting.

“font-family: Verdana”>State public records law requires government

organizations to answer requests within three days and, if a

request is denied, to provide a legal reason for keeping the

documents from public view.

“font-family: Verdana”>In the suit, which also names Mayor Ray

Nagin as a defendant, the newspaper acknowledges the city responded

to the requests, saying its attorneys need to review the e-mails

for legally privileged information. But, it says, the

administration provided no timeline for that

review.

“font-family: Verdana”>The suit says the city also provided some

records related to employees’ use of credit cards, but did not

provide eight months of statements from 2006.

“font-family: Verdana”>In the lawsuit involving police records, the

newspaper contends that Civil District Judge Robin Giarrusso erred

in granting a temporary restraining order to the Fraternal Order of

Police, the Police Association of New Orleans and the Black

Organization of Police.

“font-family: Verdana”>The organizations sued in response to a

records request by the Times-Picayune. Giarrusso’s order prohibits

the release of any record involving a current or former police

officer.

“font-family: Verdana”>Before the court issued the order, the

Police Department conceded that the records were legally public and

promised to deliver them to the newspaper by March

13.

“font-family: Verdana”>___

“font-family: Verdana”>Information from: The

Times-Picayune,

“http://www.nola.com/”>

“font-family: Verdana”>http://www.nola.com

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