Attorney General Jeff Landry is arguing that Louisiana’s public records law doesn’t apply to out-of-staters, so he can’t be penalized for his slow response to turn documents over to a researcher who sued him while living in Indiana.
The Republican attorney general wants a state district judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed in Baton Rouge by Scarlett Martin, who sought records about Landry’s dealings with the oil industry as well as financial penalties for his delays in producing them.
Landry’s office said that because Martin lives in Indianapolis, she doesn’t have the right to sue under Louisiana public records law.
“Non-citizens do not enjoy the same rights as Louisiana citizens in that regard, and the attorney general cannot be compelled to bear the burden and cost of producing records requested by those non-citizens,” Landry’s assistant attorney general Carey T. Jones wrote in a Dec. 26 court filing.
Martin’s lawyer responded in court Wednesday, saying nothing in the state’s public records law limits its application to Louisiana citizens.
“Landry does not bother to provide any statute or jurisprudence that supports the contention that only citizens of Louisiana—to the exclusion of all others—are entitled to the transparent production of public records from duly elected custodians,” attorney Christopher Whittington wrote.
A trial in the case is set for Jan. 10. Read the full story.