Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Court: Certain Agencies May Decide on Showing Records

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Court: Certain Agencies May Decide on Showing Records

Article excerpt

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled that public agencies have the authority to decide that certain financial records of state-regulated firms can be barred from public view.

The court issued a ruling in a case involving the Oklahoma Horse Racing Commission and Oklahoma Racing Associates, a family partnership headed by Ohio millionaire Edward J. DeBartolo. The partnership is shceduled to begin constrution this summer on a major pari-mutuel horse racing track near the Oklahoma City Zoo.

The state high court agreed with contentions of The Tulsa Tribune that an Oklahoma County district judge lacked authority to issue a protective order keeping the Debartolo financial records secret.

But the court, in a 5-3 ruling, said the racing commission had the prerogative of deciding which financial records could be subjected to public scrutiny.

The opinion cited a provision of the state Discovery Code that the court said ""is made for the protection of information which would be damaging to the commercial interests of a party involved. …

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