Cal Poly to settle public records lawsuit
December 17, 2014
By KAREN VELIE
California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo has agreed to pay the costs in an agreement to resolve a public records request lawsuit brought by journalism professor and editor of CalCoastNew Bill Loving.
The agreement also calls for the university to send out yearly reminders to faculty and staff about complying with the California Public Records Act. Last month, shortly after Loving filed his lawsuit, the school turned over records about the university’s preparation in the event of an outbreak of an infectious disease on campus.
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.
Director of Administrative Compliance Services Matthew Roberts said the day the lawsuit was filed, Nov. 14, his staff began working to gather the records.
“Please accept my apology for the confusion and delay in responding,” Roberts said in an email to Loving.
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.