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STACEY PICKERING

Mississippi high court to consider hidden public records dispute

The Mississippi Supreme Court will consider a dispute over public access to records from a state agency.

The dispute started in late 2012, when the Sun Herald requested records from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

After the newspaper made its request, state Auditor Stacey Pickering subpoenaed the same documents and took possession of them. Pickering’s staff said the records were part of an investigative file and could not be released.

The Sun Herald sued for access to the records, and a chancery judge sided with the newspaper, ruling that the documents did not fall under an “investigative report” exemption to the Mississippi Public Records Act.

In March, the state Court of Appeals reversed the chancery judge’s ruling. The state Supreme Court said Thursday that it will examine the case.

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