County to pay Oregonian legal fees in public records dispute

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Grant County has agreed to pay The Oregonian/OregonLive $28,000 in legal fees that the news organization spent to obtain public records about Sheriff Glenn Palmer’s management of his office.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday the money likely will come from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office communications budget.

Palmer and the Grant County Sheriff’s Office had ignored or declined several requests for records dating to November 2015, including police reports, cellphone records, emails, his calendar and handgun licenses records.

The Oregonian/OregonLive filed a civil action against Palmer in 2016 to have a court declare that certain records in the sheriff’s custody were public and must be disclosed.

The lawsuit was dismissed in November 2016 after the Sheriff’s Office released most of the materials.

The news organization sought reimbursement for its legal fees as the public records law allows.