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Court Sides With Government Agency Over Local News Organization In Public Records Fight


The Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a state government agency that sought to charge a news organization nearly $45,000 for public records on water pollution. The high court ruled that state law allows special fees to comply with records requests that take more than four hours to compile. The Flatwater Free Press had sought emails on water pollution from the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy. The agency said it would cost more than $44,000 for dozens of employees to search emails and then determine which ones should be withheld as confidential. The ruling has led to concerns that exorbitant fees could be used to keep information from the public.