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Court hears case on griz records

Jan 17, 2014 - The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- Attorneys argued before the Wyoming Supreme Court on Thursday over whether Gov. Matt Mead's administration properly withheld from an environmentalist state records concerning federal endangered-species protections for grizzly bears.

The state denied the records on the grounds they are exempted under "deliberative-process" privilege. Such privilege would shield records of discussions and deliberations that lead up to decisions by state officials from release under Wyoming's public-records law.

Bruce Moats, an attorney for environmentalist Robert Aland, argued that the state law doesn't recognize deliberative-process privilege. An attorney for the state, Ryan Schelhaas, countered that it is permissible based on legislators' intent when they passed the law in 1969.

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