Downey saga may be over

By BETH CRACE State Journal Staff Writer Published:

This may be the last the world will ever hear of Kent Downey.

On Tuesday, the state attorney general's office released more documents pertaining to the investigation of the seedy side business operated by the former legislative aide. The documents name legislators and government workers who took part in Downey's outings, but some identities and text remain redacted from the file - and likely will stay that way.

The news could mark the end of a long legal battle for broader disclosure of the investigation, according to an attorney who fought to have names in the Downey file made public.

Louisville attorney Kim Greene, of Dinsmore and Shohl, said following further review by Franklin Circuit Judge William Graham certain names and information have been kept out of the file due to privacy issues.

(In 2002, Graham allowed the release of much of the file, but kept secret material that Downey and nine others claimed would violate their privacy. The documents released Tuesday contain more names of public officials, but withheld three private individuals and two government workers.)

Three Kentucky newspapers - The State Journal, The Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald-Leader - sued to have all of the names made public after the investigation was officially closed in 1999.

"I believe the court's Aug. 1 order gave the public more information than it had before and we appreciate that, but we believe it didn't go far enough and there are other things in this file that the Open Records Act would require be open," said Greene, who represents The State Journal and Courier-Journal. "The bottomline is the court's order improved on what we knew before, but didn't go as far as we think it should have gone."

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