POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

5 things to know about KSL’s legal fight for transparency

Feb 26, 2024, 11:56 AM | Updated: Mar 26, 2024, 1:57 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – KSL and the Utah Attorney General’s Office are squaring off in a legal fight over access to Attorney General Sean Reyes’ work calendar. Here are five things to know about this showdown over government transparency before both sides make their case to a judge in Salt Lake City on Monday afternoon.


 

1. How we got here

Monday’s court hearing is more than a year in the making. The records battle kicked off in November 2022, when the Utah Attorney General’s Office denied KSL’s requests for a copy of Reyes’ schedule under Utah’s open records law. KSL took the case to the Utah State Records Committee, which sided with the news organization in May 2023.

To address security and privacy concerns, the panel ruled Reyes could redact addresses of his work meetings, along with any information about personal appointments but still had to hand over his work schedule to KSL. Reyes’ office then appealed that decision to 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City, saying the panel misapplied the law and they want clarity from a judge.

2. Why KSL wants to see the attorney general’s calendar

KSL news director Leona Wood said taxpayers deserve to know what public officials are up to and it is journalists’ job to find out. “Transparency is key to good government,” Wood said. “He has a right to privacy for those matters that are private. But when he is doing the work of a public official, the public should be able to see what that work is.”

KSL asked for Reyes’ weekly calendar spanning two and a half months, from August to mid-November of 2022. We asked other public officials for their schedules and got a range of responses. Auditor John Dougall sent KSL his calendar, while Utah’s House speaker, Senate president and state treasurer said they had “no responsive records.” The governor’s office posts a detailed agenda every week.

Please read the rest of the story at KSLTV.com.

 

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5 things to know about KSL’s legal fight for transparency