Topeka Capital-Journal Sues City of Topeka

By: Rae Chelle Davis Email
By: Rae Chelle Davis Email

The newspaper filed a lawsuit today in order to obtain records regarding the police helicopter that crashed at Washburn University on April 4th.

The flight log typically contains the names of those on board as well as information about the flight and the helicopter.

They filed their lawsuit Tuesday in Shawnee County District Court. This comes after the Capital Journal says it requested the crash log for the chopper and were denied by Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller.

"Kansas Open Records are very clear and we feel very strongly that access to public information isn't up to the whims of public officials," said Managing Editor Wayne Stewart.

In a statement today city spokesperson Dave Bevens says that suing the city is premature because they are still working on the open records request.

"The City of Topeka received from the local daily newspaper an open records request. We acknowledged its receipt within three working days as required by law. We will respond to the paper no later than April 28. We are following the same process we always do when an open records request is filed." said City Spokesperson David Bevens.

Stewart says it would be great if the city follows through. However based on current occurrences, he has his doubts.

"They told us they were going to take another 2 weeks to find this information. We've been waiting 11 days for the Highway Patrol to file a police report for the crash. It's just not the way things should work. The public has a right to know," said Stewart. "It's not up to public officials to decide what you get and what you don't. There's a law. It's Kansas Open Records Law and it's very clear. We're not going to go away just because they say they're not going to provide the information. We're going to keep knocking on the door until we get what we want."

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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