April McCullum
Burlington Free Press

A Vermont judge has rejected the argument that the Vermont Attorney General’s Office is exempt from state public records law and ordered the office to release some documents.

The Attorney General’s Office had argued in a March court hearing that because it is a law office, all of its work is governed by professional ethics rules such as attorney-client privilege and therefore exempt from mandatory public disclosure.

Washington Superior Court Judge Mary Miles Teachout ruled Thursday that “the Attorney General’s office is not wholly exempt from the Public Records Act.”

The case arose out of a public records request from Energy & Environment Legal Institute, a free-market group based in Washington, D.C. The group requested emails and other correspondence showing how Vermont and other states in a climate change coalition responded to public records requests.

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