Court hears arguments about open records in payday loans case
By: Bill Rankin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 5, 2018
A case heard by the Georgia Supreme Court on Monday could have profound implications for citizens seeking public records under the state’s sunshine laws.
The dispute is about whether a watchdog group may obtain correspondence between a Kennesaw State University professor and a payday lending group that commissioned the university to conduct a study. The group, which calls itself the Consumer Credit Research Foundation, publishes reports favorable to the industry.
The Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s university system, agreed that the communications should be released under the Open Records Act. But the research foundation filed suit to block its release to the Campaign for Accountability, a Washington-based nonprofit that contends the payday loan industry funds favorable academic studies to boost its bottom line.