Cal Poly agrees to disclose records following lawsuit
November 21, 2014
By KAREN VELIE
Amid a lawsuit against the campus, officials at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo agreed Thursday to release records about the university’s preparation in the event of an outbreak of an infectious disease on campus.
Apologizing for a failure to follow the California Public Records Act, Director of Administrative Compliance Services Matthew Roberts sent an email to Professor Bill Loving saying the records he had requested were available for pickup or electronic delivery. Roberts said the day Loving filed his lawsuit, Nov. 14, his staff began working to gather the records.
“Please accept my apology for the confusion and delay in responding,” Roberts said in his email.
In September, reporters in one of Loving’s classes began to work on a project about illness, hygiene and preparedness. Reporters requested campus health center records citing the California Public Records Act.
After inquiring if the records request was made by a student, Health and Counseling Center Medical Director Karen Hord-Sandquist refused to provide records of its disease preparedness plans. In his lawsuit, Loving said state law requires that those records be open.
Loving named Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong and the university as defendants in his lawsuit. He asked for release of the records and for reimbursement for the cost of the lawsuit.
Loving, also the editor of CalCoastNews, said he plans to supplement his filing and go directly to the request for court costs and fees. The records act says those who sue to get documents can be reimbursed for attorneys’ fees should the government agency lose in court.