UPDATE 2:10 PM!
After previous fines of $500 per day could not convince production of records by the LSU Board of Supervisors, State District Judge Janice Clark has ordered the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office to confiscate records from LSU’s recently concluded president’s search.
Clark on Tuesday also told the Sheriff’s Office to enforce her April 30 order and make public the records from the LSU Board of Supervisors. The April 30 order came after The Advocate filed suit after the university board refused to release the records. The Times-Picayune joined the case a week later.
“The power, authority and dignity of this court continues to be frustrated,” Clark said in court Tuesday. Saying daily $500 fines have not grabbed its attention, an unyielding state judge the LSU Board of Supervisors sanctions, including possible jail time, are in play with the more than four-month-old order to make public the records of its secret presidential search.
The Baton Rouge paper, The Advocate sued after the university board refused to release the records, and The Times-Picayune joined the case a week later.
“It certainly is high time for compliance,” an adamant Clark stated. “I want the production (of the records). They (the newspapers) are entitled to it.” The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office was directed to confiscate records from LSU’s recently concluded president’s search and Judge Clark also told the Sheriff’s Office to make public the records from the LSU Board of Supervisors regarding the president’s search public.
Clark’s instructions to the Sheriff’s Office to “take whatever actions (are) necessary, including the use of warrants, to collect the documents.” “She wants the sheriff to get them — immediately,” said Lori Mince, the attorney representing The Advocate. “We don’t want to LSU to be fined. We don’t want anybody to go to jail. We just want the records,” she said.
The fine of $500 a day for every day the university fails to provide the records currently totals about $60,000. Obviously, this did not make an impression on the Board of Supervisors. Edward “Skip” Rhorer, Chief Civil Deputy of the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office may be responsible for documents seizure and disposition as public records.