City Attorney releases statement re: Petition filed in 4th Judicial District Court

Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 10:30am

“The City of Monroe firmly believes in an open and transparent government. Recently, the
City has received numerous requests for public records related to the internal, investigatory files
of several current and former Monroe Police Department employees. The City recognizes the
public’s right to know about the day-to-day operations of its government and its employees, but
it also recognizes that individual employees may have a constitutional or statutory right to
privacy in their personnel records. To that end, the City also has an obligation as an employer
to protect the privacy interests of its employees. Many of the employee’s subject to these
requests have expressed their formal opposition to the release of their personnel or investigatory
files.

Because of these competing interests, and the multiple requests that the City has received for
this information, the City filed a Petition today in the Fourth Judicial District Court, Ouachita
Parish, seeking a declaration concerning what documents in connection with an employee’s
internal, investigatory file must be produced in response to a public records request. This action
was not taken to delay responding to any particular request; but it was done to ensure that the
City appropriately takes into account the public’s right to know and the employees’ right to
privacy. We hope that the court’s guidance in this case will serve as a useful tool to help us
respond to similar public records requests in the future.” - Angie Sturdivant, City Attorney


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