BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Parish District Court Judge Janice Clark has fined the LSU Board of Supervisors $500 for not turning over records concerning the selection of the latest President of the university.
On April 30, 2013 Judge Clark ordered LSU to turn over the records to the Times Picayune and the Advocate. Judge Clark said the board's conduct was contemptuous for not handing over the public records.
Attorneys for LSU said turning over the documents would nullify the point if their appeal on the is matter is successful.
LSU released the following statement on the matter:
"The three lawsuits filed after the selection of the new LSU president sought the names of candidates considered by the LSU search committee. Two of those cases were consolidated and tried before District Judge Janice Clark, who ruled in favor of the newspapers. The other suit was tried before District Judge Tim Kelley, who found that LSU had complied with the public record laws.
Clearly, the appellate courts should resolve such conflicting decisions on an important issue. However, the losing plaintiff in Judge Kelley's case did not appeal. LSU, on the other hand, has not been able to appeal the decision by Judge Clark. Moreover, despite LSU's requests, Judge Clark has refused to enter orders that would allow LSU to appeal.
Today, Judge Clark held LSU in contempt of court and imposed severe penalties for its failure to comply with the judgment rendered by Judge Clark, despite clear law providing that LSU will lose its right to appeal if it complies with the judgment by the appeal becoming moot. LSU is committed to pursuing all available appellate relief and to obtaining a proper judicial resolution of a critical issue that can have substantial impact on the recruitment of the best qualified person for academic and other leadership positions throughout the state."