A group that oversees the publicly-owned former Fayette County courthouse has voluntarily released its financial records after the Lexington Herald-Leader sued the group in Fayette Circuit Court last month.
Historic Courthouse LLLP, a for-profit entity run by city employees, agreed late Monday to release the documents the Herald-Leader had previously requested but was denied. Included in the newspaper’s requests was detailed financial information about where more than $250,000 generated from leases for the courthouse is spent. The newspaper had also requested the individual leases for the courthouse. Historic Courthouse LLLP had released the leases for Thirsty Fox, Zim’s, the Breeders’ Cup, Limestone Hall and VisitLex.
In a letter dated Aug. 12, Kara Read Marino, a lawyer for Historic Courthouse LLLP said the group agreed to release all of the information the Herald-Leader had requested. But the group continues to believe it is not subject to the Open Records Act, the letter said.
“Historic Courthouse does not concede, nor agree, that it is subject to the Kentucky Open Records Act,” Marino wrote in a letter. “By making these disclosures, Historic Courthouse does not waive the application of the Kentucky Open Records Act, nor any exemptions therein, except as to those documents provided with this letter.”
The letter asked that the lawsuit filed by the Herald-Leader on July 24 be dismissed.
In its lawsuit, the newspaper asked a Fayette Circuit Court judge to determine if Historic Courthouse LLLP is a public agency and must comply with the state Open Records Act. The newspaper argued that $22 million in city money was used to pay for the $32 million overhaul of the former courthouse. State law says any entity that receives more than 25 percent of its total budget from taxpayers is subject to the state Open Records Act.