Archive for Friday, December 4, 2009

Lawrence media outlets seek records on Mangino’s buyout

December 4, 2009

— Three Lawrence media outlets, the Lawrence Journal-World, 6News and KUsports.com, have filed a Kansas Open Records Act request with Kansas Athletics Inc. to obtain details of the settlement agreement reached with football coach Mark Mangino.

Reached Friday, Jim Marchiony, associate athletics director, said that Kansas Athletics would not be providing the information.

“We have been instructed by legal counsel not to release any details relating to the settlement agreement,” he said.

Under the Kansas Open Records Act, the athletics corporation has three business days to respond in writing to the request for information. Should they deny the request, they must cite under which specific provision of the law they are basing their decision.

Doug Anstaett, executive director of the Kansas Press Association, said in an e-mail that Kansas state law since 2005 has been that any contracts or agreements that include compensation, whether they include public or private money, are a public record if the money is received because of the person’s public position. Along with the KPA, the Journal-World was one of the media organizations that filed the lawsuit that led to the law.

“What’s especially troubling about this latest attempt at stonewalling is that the university and its athletic corporation lost a lawsuit in 2004 when it refused to divulge (athletics director Lew) Perkins’ own compensation package, even though much of it came from private sources,” Anstaett said. “After that successful lawsuit, the Kansas Legislature passed a change to the Kansas Open Records Act that was affectionately labeled the ‘Lew Perkins Provision,’ and it opened up any and all agreements that affect compensation, even supplemental settlement agreements.”

He said it was “ludicrous” to try to hide this information from the public and that the parts of any separation agreement that refer to how Mangino will be paid are open records and should be immediately released.

The request filed Friday also requests that the athletics corporation release the results of an investigation into Mangino’s conduct as coach.

The Lawrence media outlets are owned by The World Company, which also publishes the weekly Shawnee Dispatch, Bonner Springs Chieftain, Basehor Sentinel, De Soto Explorer, Eudora News, The (Tonganoxie) Mirror and Baldwin City Signal newspapers and their Web sites.

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