November 8, 1996

In re: R. Keith Cullinan/City of Louisville

Open Records Decision

This matter having been presented to the Attorney General in an open records appeal, and the Attorney General being sufficiently advised, we find that the City of Louisville violated KRS 61.880(2)(c) by failing to sustain its burden of proof relative to the efforts made to locate records of research projects conducted by John Nelson referenced in a September 1996 memorandum from Mr. Nelson to Bebe Melton, President of the Louisville Board of Aldermen. We believe that 95-ORD-96, a copy of which is attached hereto and incorporated by reference, is dispositive of this appeal. Although the City of Louisville questioned President Melton about the existence of records satisfying Mr. Cullinan's appeal, the city did not question Mr. Nelson, and therefore did not “conduct a search using methods which can reasonably be expected to produce the records requested.” 95-ORD-96, p. 7. Accord, 96-ORD-213. While such inquiries may ultimately prove unproductive, we believe that the city is obligated to make them, in order to satisfy its burden of proof in sustaining its action, and to advise Mr. Cullinan of the outcome.

A party aggrieved by this decision may appeal it by initiating action in the appropriate circuit court pursuant to KRS 61.880(5) and KRS 61.882. Pursuant to KRS

61.880(3), the Attorney General should be notified of any action in circuit court, but should not be named as a party in that action or in any subsequent proceeding.

A. B. Chandler III

Attorney General

Amye L. Bensenhaver

Assistant Attorney General



Distributed to:

R. Keith Cullinan

1406 Browns Lane

Louisville KY 40207

Paul V. Guagliardo

Senior Attorney

Department of Law

City of Louisville

Room 200, City Hall

Louisville KY 40202-2771