Payday lending group loses lawsuit over record release

By: Bill Rankin, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 18, 2018

The Georgia Supreme Court on Monday ruled that correspondence between a Kennesaw State University professor and a payday lending organization she conducted a study for is subject to disclosure under the state’s open records laws.

The ruling, hailed by open government advocates, means that Campaign for Accountability, a Washington-based watchdog group, can obtain communications between Kennesaw State statistics and data science professor Jennifer Lewis Priestly and the Consumer Credit Research Foundation, which touts studies favorable to payday lending.

Campaign for Accountability had filed requests under the state’s Open Records Act after Priestly published an article about a study she did for Consumer Credit Research Foundation in 2014. The foundation gave her a $30,000 grant for the work.

When the university system agreed to turn over the correspondence, the Consumer Credit Research Foundation filed suit to block it.

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