DOE v. CONWAY
357 S.W.3d 505 (2010)
John DOE I, Appellant,
Jack CONWAY, Attorney General, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Appellee. and
Jack Doe, Appellant,
Jack Conway, Attorney General, Commonwealth of Kentucky, Appellee.
Nos. 2009-CA-000641-MR, 2009-CA-000642-MR.
Court of Appeals of Kentucky.
November 12, 2010.
Discretionary Review Denied by Supreme Court February 15, 2012.
Before ACREE, VANMETER and WINE, Judges.
The appellants, John Doe I and John Doe II,1 seek reversal of the Franklin Circuit Court's decision to allow public inspection of agency records containing allegations that they were engaged in wrongdoing. The circuit court correctly determined that disclosure is required by the Kentucky Open Records Act. While these records arguably contain information of a private nature concerning the appellants, the public's interest in inspection greatly outweighs any privacy interest that may exist. Therefore, the privacy interest exception set forth in Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 61.878(1)(a) is inapplicable and we affirm.
The information at issue in this case was derived from a joint investigation of the Office of the Attorney General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The investigation responded to alleged wrongdoing within the Transportation Cabinet and, more specifically, the Division of Driver Licensing within the Kentucky Department of Vehicle Regulation. Among other things, the investigation sought to determine whether Cabinet officials: improperly awarded government contracts in exchange for personal gain; used their access to Kentucky driver data to erase traffic offenses in exchange for money; improperly used access to Cabinet resources to engage in sex acts, consume alcohol, and take drugs; and otherwise improperly used their cabinet positions for personal gain or other improper purposes.
Following the investigation, the Director of Driver Licensing was fired for lack of oversight and failing to protect the integrity of the driver's licensing record system. Various other cabinet officials resigned or announced their retirement. Included among those individuals who announced their retirement was John Doe I. While
not a member of the cabinet, John Doe II engaged in close interactions with cabinet officials as a lobbyist and business partner of John Doe I.
Both appellants continue to maintain a close relationship with the Kentucky State Government. John Doe I was recently given a gubernatorial appointment to the Board of Claims and the Crime Victims Compensation Board and is compensated by the Commonwealth for his service. John Doe II continues to be a registered lobbyist and business partner of John Doe I.
Following the appointment of John Doe I to the aforementioned boards, Tom Loftus, a reporter from the Courier-Journal, submitted an open records request to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) seeking review of the investigative file relating to John Doe I and John Doe II. The OAG reviewed the request and determined that portions of the file were subject to public disclosure. However, before providing the records, the OAG notified the appellants and other parties named therein and afforded them the opportunity to review the file and seek judicial relief from disclosure.