Court action has been filed against the Pike County Clerk for her failure to provide public documents.
On Mar. 4, court action was filed against Pike County Clerk Rhonda Taylor by the Roger Ford for failure to provide public documents about the finances and operations of the Pike County Clerks’s office, according to the lawsuit.
“No one is above the law, not even the Pike County Clerk.” Ford said in a statement. “Efforts going back nearly nine months to shed light on the problems in the Pike County Clerk’s office are why we are seeking a ruling in circuit court to enforce the Attorney General’s opinion.”
The filing of this lawsuit stems from an opinion that was issued by Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear’s office that stated Taylor violated the Kentucky Open Records Act by failing to either acknowledge or provide public documents Ford had requested between August and October of this year.
According to the lawsuit, the complaint seeks various documents, as well as penalties that fall under the Kentucky Open Records Act, while also asking that financial penalties be imposed on Taylor for her refusal to comply with the act.
“The need for greater transparency is ever present in the County Clerk’s office,” Ford said in the statement. “With the efforts in Frankfort to gut the Kentucky Open Records Act, in essence, blinding people to the conduct of public officials and agencies, thereby allowing them to better conceal what they do with the public’s money, means we must act now and not wait.”
In response to the lawsuit, Taylor told the News-Express the Clerk’s office receives open records requests regularly and that although he has not been any differently than anyone else, Ford is the only person who has lodged any complaint. Taylor implied that she believes Ford’s actions are politically-motivated, stemming from his unsuccessful attempt to unseat Taylor in last November’s general election.
“Mr. Ford has filed so many records requests that it has kept me from being able to do my job of serving the people to the best of my ability,” Taylor said. “I don’t know if he is obsessed with the fact that he lost the election, or if he is just obsessed with me, but the harassment needs to stop.”
According to Taylor, some of the records Ford has requested aren’t even present in the Clerk’s office and that he would need to contact another agency. She added that she hopes Ford is serious about taking the matter to court so that a judge can finally end all of the “harassment”.
“He should know that the door can swing both ways,” Taylor said. “My office has been transparent and we have nothing to hide.”