Beshear administration hands over records sought by media

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Andy Beshear's administration says it has handed over documents in multiple open records lawsuits that his predecessor, Gov. Matt Bevin, had sought to keep secret.

The administration agreed to settle the suits by handing over documents in four cases and paying about $90,000 the Courier Journal.

Two cases were brought by the newspaper. It sought records related to Braidy Industries, a project to build an aluminum plant in eastern Kentucky in which the state has invested $15 million.

It also sought more complete records of a probe into claims by a former top social services official of sexual harassment and discrimination.

The administration also agreed to release records sought by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting related to alleged harassment at two state agencies.

The records release was first reported by the Courier Journal.

"We really appreciate what the Beshear administration has done," attorney Jon Fleischaker told the newspaper, which he represents. "We think it's absolutely appropriate and signals a new beginning for the commonwealth in terms of open records and transparency laws."

Sebastian Kitchen, deputy communications director for Beshear's office, said the administration has released documents while ending several lawsuits over public records.

"Gov. Beshear is committed to transparency and open government," Kitchen said in an email.

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