Kentucky Judge Rules University Foundation a Public Agency

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The foundation for Kentucky State University is not exempt from state open records law, a circuit court judge recently ruled, according to the State Journal.

The State Journal in Frankfort had sued the Kentucky State University Foundation after the foundation denied requests in May 2021 for records, claiming it was not a public agency.

The newspaper wanted records related to payments to former Kentucky State president M. Christopher Brown II and payments for his travel and birthday parties. Brown resigned in July 2021 and later sued the university to collect a $270,000 severance payment.

“While the KSU Foundation may be a separate legal entity, it is affiliated with KSU in such significant ways that it is clear that its relationship to KSU is that of agent to principal,” Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd wrote in the opinion issued Aug. 11. “It exists to further the mission of KSU, and to implement policies that support KSU, its students and programs. It has no other reason for existence.”

Shepherd ordered the foundation to turn over the requested records within 10 days.

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