News station sues University


File Photo

WPSD wins summary judgement against Murray State on Feb. 16.

Ava Chuppe, Senior Writer

WPSD Local 6, a news station based in Paducah, Kentucky, has sued the University over its violation of the Open Records Act.

The suit, filed on March 6, comes after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron ruled the University violated the act by withholding emails describing past events and denying a request that “sufficiently described the records sought.”

The lawsuit claims “MSU is willfully mis-applying the Act’s exemptions to withhold records it would rather not see the light of day” and aims “to compel disclosure of public documents related to MSU’s attempts to interfere with reporting by WKMS.”

WPSD seeks “to recover its costs, reasonable attorneys’ fees from this lawsuit and statutory penalties.” The suit also requests “all other relief to which WPSD may be entitled” because of the University’s alleged violation of the act.

Following the suit, WPSD reported on March 7 University administration interfered with editorial decisions at WKMS. According to the report, former WKMS Station Manager Chad Lampe declined to go on the record with WPSD on the issue but testified to the state Judicial Conduct Commission (JCC) it was a “fair assessment” the University affected WKMS’ decision-making.

WKMS, Murray State’s public radio station, previously filed an open records request for  footage of former 42nd Circuit Court Judge Jamie Jameson roaming the Marshall County Judicial Building in his underwear. According to allegations from the JCC, Jameson pressured Lampe not to pursue the story, claiming he had contacted University administration and President Bob Jackson disapproved of its publication.

Lampe testified WKMS abandoned the story because it was not newsworthy. However, the JCC found Jameson guilty of all seven counts of misconduct brought against him and removed from office on the grounds he is “unfit for judicial office.”

The University declined to comment on the lawsuit. Perry Boxx, WPSD news director, also opted not to speak with us. Stay tuned in for follow-ups on the suit.