Gazette v. Chillicothe City Schools, 020519 OHCOC, 2018-00950PQ

Docket Nº:2018-00950PQ
Opinion Judge:PATRICK M. MCGRATH JUDGE.
Party Name:CHILLICOTHE GAZETTE Requester v. CHILLICOTHE CITY SCHOOLS Respondent
Case Date:February 05, 2019
Court:Court of Claims of Ohio
 
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2019-Ohio-965

CHILLICOTHE GAZETTE Requester

v.

CHILLICOTHE CITY SCHOOLS Respondent

No. 2018-00950PQ

Court of Claims of Ohio

February 5, 2019

Sent to S.C. Reporter 3/20/19

ENTRY ADOPTING AND MODIFYING RECOMMENDATION OF SPECIAL MASTER

PATRICK M. MCGRATH JUDGE.

{¶1} On December 26, 2018, special master Clark issued a report and recommendation in this case. This public records case was filed by reporter Jona Ison of the Chillicothe Gazette (Gazette) in accordance with R.C. 2743.75 against Chillicothe City Schools (Chillicothe CS) wherein the Gazette alleges a denial of access to public records. The special master recommended denying Chillicothe CS's motion to dismiss. (Report and Recommendation, p. 4). Turning to the merits, and pertinent to the Gazette's objections, the special master found that Chillicothe CS must provide the Gazette with a copy of the November 1, 2017 e-mail From Jennifer Bergquist, a claims specialist for Liberty Mutual, to Jon Saxton, former superintendent for Chillicothe CS. Id. at 21. The special master also found that "the common-law attorney-client privilege does not apply to any portion" of an October 13, 2017 letter from Sandra McIntosh to the Chillicothe School Board's representative, former Superintendent Jon Saxon. Id. at 24.

{¶2} R.C. 2743.75(F)(2) states, in part: "[e]ither party may object to the report and recommendation within seven business days after receiving the report and recommendation by filing a written objection with the clerk * * * If either party timely objects, the other party may file with the clerk a response within seven business days after receiving the objection and send a copy of the response to the objecting party by certified mail, return receipt requested." Chillicothe CS timely filed its objections on January 8, 2019. The Gazette received the objections via certified mail on January 14, 2019, and timely filed its response on January 18, 2019. Chillicothe CS raises the following two objections:

Objection 1: The Board objects to the Special Master's recommendation that it produce a copy of the October 13, 2017 letter from Attorney Sandra McIntosh to the Board because that letter is protected by attorney-client privilege.

{¶3} Chillicothe CS makes the following three arguments: (1) "both Attorney McIntosh and the Board's President, Steven Mullins, have submitted affidavits to the Court that they...

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