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Governor wins right to continue fighting open records case

An Oklahoma County Judge ruled in favor of Governor Mary Fallin in one of the lawsuits filed against her and her actions regarding providing open records.

The ACLU of Oklahoma is representing two parties in a lawsuit and asked a judge for summary judgement in their favor after a local journalist and an Oklahoma City advocacy group had been waiting more than 900 days for records they requested from the governor’s office.

RELATED: Judge will decide if governor justified in 900+ day delay in records cases

The Oklahoma Open Records act says public agencies have to provide “prompt and reasonable access” to public documents. However, the law does not define what constitutes “prompt and reasonable.”

This is probably one of the most serious lacks of transparency and accountability we've ever seen in Oklahoma government,” ACLU legal director Brady Henderson told reporters when the motion for summary judgement was filed.

Judge Roger Stuart’s ruling in favor of the governor does not end the case. The ruling only allows the case to proceed to trial or settlement.

In its explanation to the court, the governor’s office compared the process of requesting open records from her office to ordering in line at McDonald’s fast food restaurants.

When the request for summary judgement was filed, the ACLU of Oklahoma said it hoped one of the current cases against the governor will end with the state supreme court. They hoped the court would eventually weigh in on how long a reasonable wait time is for the public seeking public records.

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