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WPSD, Murray State reach agreement over records lawsuit

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Murray State and WPSD reach an agreement over records lawsuit

WPSD and Murray State University have agreed to a settlement of WPSD’s open records lawsuit against the university.

WPSD attorneys filed a stipulation of dismissal Wednesday with Judge John Atkins signed by both parties. The University has agreed to pay WPSD $132,500, including $42,500 in legal fees. Besides the settlement, the University and WPSD have entered into a two-year advertising agreement. 

WPSD General Manager Bill Evans said in a WPSD story, “This a mutual beneficial settlement that allows Murray State to resume its professional relationship with the TV station and gain the marketing value associated with a two-year advertising plan.”

Atkins ruled Feb. 16 in a summary judgment that the university violated the law.

The lawsuit stemmed from an investigation WPSD started in 2022 into Murray State administrators and the university’s public radio station, WKMS. Documents WPSD received showed WKMS clashing with University administrators over investigative reporting involving state lawmakers and other public figures and institutions. The University released hundreds of documents after the attorney general ruled that the school violated the Open Records law. 

WPSD later filed suit because they believed the university continued withholding information and making illegal redactions from released documents. 

After the ruling from Atkins, the University faced hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees and penalties. 

In a WPSD story, WPSD news director Perry Boxx said he is pleased the parties reached an agreement.

“Judge Atkins asked both parties to use their best efforts to resolve all remaining issues amicably through negotiation and compromise,” Boxx said. “I’m grateful for the extraordinary work done by our attorneys Rick Adams and Michael Abate. Amye Bensenhaver, co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition also provided this newsroom and me personally with advice, support and encouragement which is deeply appreciated.”

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About the Contributor
Jill Smith
Jill Smith, Co-Editor In Chief/News Editor
Jillian Smith is Co-EIC and News Editor at The News. Smith is a graduate student pursuing a Masters of Science in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. Smith is also a Graduate Assistant in Student Affairs. Beyond working and class, Smith enjoys reading, coffee, and listening to music.

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