Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Candidate ordered to reimburse Alaska Dispatch for legal fees in its fight to get his records

Chalk up another victory for journalists in the battle for open records. The Alaska Dispatch had already forced 2010 U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller to provide information from public records that detailed his improper activities. Now the Alaska Superior Court has ordered Miller, right, to reimburse the online newspaper more than $85,000 in legal fees from the lawsuit. Miller's employer was ordered to pay a little more than $12,000. (Photo by Stephen Mowers)

When Miller ran on the Tea Party ticket, the Dispatch argued "that Miller’s records, which detailed episodes of misconduct for which he was punished and barred from rehire for three years, should be available for Alaska voters to review," Jill Burke reports for the Dispatch. Miller dragged out the litigation for two years, leading to $112,000 in court costs for the Dispatch.

When a state judge ordered Miller to release the records, it turned out that he had repeatedly lied, and had used a colleague's computer to vote in his own online straw poll on who should be the new head of the Alaska Republican Party. The judge required him to undergo counselling. Miller plans to run again for the Senate in 2014. (Read more)

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