Chancery judge declines to lift sanctions, legal fees in Sun Herald's public records case

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GULFPORT, Mississippi — A Harrison County judge has refused to lift sanctions she ordered in a records lawsuit the Sun Herald filed against the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, state auditor's office and Auditor Stacey Pickering and Attorney General Jim Hood.

In May, Chancery Judge Jennifer Schloegel ordered Pickering, his office and MDMR to pay more than $36,000 in attorney fees the newspaper ( incurred in its 19-month legal battle to see the documents.

Schloegel also fined Pickering, Hood and six others $100 each for their roles in the "willful and wrongful denial" of the public records request by the paper.

On Monday, Schloegel denied Hood's motion to reverse the sanctions against the state agency and his office. Pickering has already appealed the sanctions to the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Information from: The Sun Herald,

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