N.C. Town Must Pay Paper's Legal Fees

By: A Dare County judge has ordered the town of Kitty Hawk, N.C. to pay $75,000 to a newspaper to cover its legal costs as it fought to access to government records.

The Outer Banks Sentinel sued Kitty Hawk in 2004, after town officials refused to release billing records of the town's contract attorney in 2003 and 2004. The newspaper also demanded copies of contracts, appraisals and engineering documents.

The state Court of Appeals ruled earlier this year the newspaper was entitled to the documents.

Superior Court Judge Richard Parker's decision today blamed the town's attorneys for using what he called "totally unwarranted" tactics in defending the case, adding to the newspaper's legal costs.

A spokesman for the town did not immediately return a phone call today.


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