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Oklahoma paper's public records suit ends with fee settlement

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  1. Freedom of Information
After a decade of public records litigation, Oklahoma's Department of Public Safety has finally released the information and paid $60,000…

After a decade of public records litigation, Oklahoma’s Department of Public Safety has finally released the information and paid $60,000 to cover the newspaper’s legal fees, the Tulsa World reported.

In 2001 Tulsa Word city editor Ziva Branstetter filed an open records request through for documents from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol on "the department’s use of force, traffic stops and searches, and agency procedures," the story said.

An appeals court said in 2007 that most of the records should be disclosed. The Department of Public Safety has now agreed to pay $60,000 to cover a portion of the Tulsa World‘s attorney fees.

"The World is donating a portion of the DPS payment to help fund programs dealing with computer-assisted reporting and open records/open meetings issues," the story said.  "FOI Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Newspaper Foundation will each receive $2,500 to provide the educational seminars to professional and student journalists."