Judge: White Castle to pay $13,000 in fines after public records lawsuit
WHITE CASTLE- The town of White Castle will be forced to nearly $13,000 in fines for not providing public records requested by citizens.
Garnell Young and June Landry were the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Back in January 2015, Young and Landry requested public records about the town’s finances.
When they did not received those records, they filed a suit last year.
After two hours in court Thursday morning and about a year and half dealing with the matter, attorneys say that it is finally settled.
Young’s attorney, Charlotte McGehee, said that the goal was to make sure the town gives citizens access to records requested.
“Our ultimate goal is to make sure that the town of White Castle is compliant with law, giving people public records when they ask for it, and making sure that the tax payers can see how their money is spent,” McGehee said.
Landry’s attorney, Seth Dornier, said the case was also about protecting citizen’s rights.
“This is not a suit about politics or sour grapes, this is about fundamental rights, and I believe justice was done, its truly about protecting citizens’ fundamental rights,” Dornier said.
WBRZ’s Investigative Unit first revealed the town’s attempt to block the records release during a court fight earlier this month.
At the time, the mayor did not want to comment on why the records were not released.
However, The mayor’s attorney, Valencia Landry, said on Thursday that the judge was fair in the decision.
“We believe what the judge ordered was absolutely fair, mistakes were made, we're learning from our mistakes, and so all we can do is take out licking and keep on going,” Landry said.
The town now owes both Young and Landry $1,500 each and $5,000 each for their attorneys.