Contempt fees are up to $50,000 and growing $500 a day; still, LSU still has not produced the names of the semifinalists and finalists in its secretive search for a new president. The LSU board of supervisors has been in contempt since April 30, when state District Judge Janice Clark told it to turn over the names to The Advocate and The Times-Picayune, both of which have sued for what they say is a public record.
The Advocate reported that this week’s Supreme Court refusal of LSU’s request that it overturn or stay the trial court’s ruling does not mean LSU must immediately pay the contempt fees, noting it can appeal the contempt order.
But the papers’ attorney, Lori Mince, says the higher court’s decision means the records have to be produced.
However, Jimmy R. Faircloth Jr., an attorney representing LSU in the case, interpreted Thursday’s Supreme Court action differently, The Advocate reported, saying it paved the way for LSU to have its case heard before the appellate courts.
“That’s not a comment by the Supreme Court one way or another concerning who’s right or wrong on the lawsuit,” Faircloth said about his unsuccessful bid to get the high court involved in the case. “That’s simply the court saying we’re not going to hear the case now.”
The next scheduled hearing is Sept. 9. Clark will then determine whether LSU will be forced to pay the two newspapers damages and attorney’s fees for the case, Mince told the paper.
Once that is decided, she said, final judgment will be rendered.
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