The Courier Journal appealed to the attorney general in August after LMPD denied its request for files in the case of former officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood, who have admitted to sexually abusing teens they met through the department’s Explorer program.
LMPD argued it relinquished control and possession of the files to an FBI task force, which has taken over the case.
But after reviewing an agreement that outlines the terms of the task force, the attorney general’s office found LMPD retains the right to access the records.
“As such, there is no merit to LMPD’s argument that it no longer possesses the responsive records,” wrote Assistant Attorney General J. Marcus Jones. “… the FBI’s physical possession of the responsive records did not relieve LMPD of its duty to review the responsive records and respond in accordance with the requirements of the (Open Records) Act.”
A county attorney’s office spokesman said it’s still reviewing the decision and hasn’t decided on a possible appeal. A spokeswoman for Mayor Greg Fischer declined to comment, saying the decision is still under review by city attorneys.