Friday, February 17, 2017
Courts - "On eve of confirmation vote, judge orders EPA nominee to release thousands of emails"
The Washington Post is reporting today, in a story by Brady Davis:
An Oklahoma judge on Thursday ordered Scott Pruitt, the state’s attorney general and President Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, to turn over thousands of emails related to his communication with the oil, gas and coal industry.From the Huffington Post:
The Center for Media and Democracy has been seeking the release of Pruitt’s correspondence with fossil-fuel representatives under public records laws for more than two years. The group filed suit over Pruitt’s refusal to turn over the documents and requested the expedited hearing that led to the judge’s decision, which was first reported by E&E News.
The ruling by District Court Judge Aletia Timmons, who said there had been “an abject failure to provide prompt and reasonable access to documents requested,” came a day before the Senate is expected to vote on confirming Pruitt to head the EPA, an agency that he has sued repeatedly during the Obama years.
Timmons gave the attorney general’s office until Tuesday to release the records, meaning they likely won’t come to light until after he is sworn in to his new position.
Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons of the District Court of Oklahoma County ruled that the attorney general’s office will have until Tuesday to turn over more than 2,500 emails and other documents. The watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy, with legal representation from the American Civil Liberties Union, had filed a lawsuit against Pruitt earlier this month, alleging that his office had violated Oklahoma’s open records law.From E&E News:
The Center for Media and Democracy sued for his emails. The attorney general's office will have to either turn them over to the group or provide them to the court for inspection, Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons [a state district court judge] said after a 25-minute hearing.