Kentucky Attorney General Reviewing Blogger's Access to State Phone Records

By: E&P Staff The Kentucky state attorney general?s office is looking into how a former top aide to Gov. Ernie Fletcher obtained thousands of state phone records dating back to the administration of Fletcher?s predecessor.

A ?preliminary review? is being done to determine whether the situation warrants further scrutiny, said Vicki Glass, a spokeswoman for the attorney general?s office.

Brett Hall, Fletcher?s former spokesman, recently posted written phone messages on his Web site that he claimed were taken for State Auditor Crit Luallen during her tenure as Cabinet Secretary in former Gov. Paul Patton?s administration.

Last week Hall took down a posting at the Fletcher campaign?s request that contained a derogatory term in reference to the governor?s May 2007 Republican primary opponent, former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup.

Hall told The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal last week he obtained the message through an open records request. It was one of more than 19,000 messages from various people that were left for Luallen, Hall said. Hall later said that he did not obtain the messages through open records but through a confidential source that no longer works in state government.

Hall told The Associated Press on Tuesday he regrets what he told the newspaper but didn?t break the law. Hall said he was protecting his source?s identity.

?This is a First Amendment case,? Hall said. ?It involves, basically, freedom of information and I?m going to protect my source.?


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