by Anne Galloway
In a victory for open records advocates, a Washington Superior Court judge has ruled that the Vermont attorney general’s office cannot categorically deny public access to documents.
Judge Mary Miles Teachout ordered the AG’s office to release records to the Energy and Environment Legal Institute in 30 days. The institute, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., sued over communications between the attorneys general of Vermont and New York state.
In a related case, Teachout has ruled that former Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell must give up records created on a private email account, and because he is no longer a public official, Sorrell is now a defendant in the lawsuit. As a defendant, he will be compelled to release records and submit to a deposition.
Matthew Hardin, an attorney for the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, requested records shared by Vermont and New York attorneys general.