Statement from TEMA Director Patrick Sheehan on the Sevier County Juvenile Court’s ruling concerning open records.
“TEMA, working through legal counsel and with the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office, requested the ruling from the Sevier County Juvenile Court to clarify what records we could share without violating or being in contempt of the Court’s original order to withhold records. We did this to ensure we would not endanger any ongoing investigations and prosecutions, nor interfere with the right of the accused to receive a fair trial under law.
As soon as the Court ruling was issued, TEMA in conjunction with our legal office, began gathering records for the purpose of reviewing for confidentiality, responsiveness, and potential cost estimates to respond to the multiple requests we have received.
These requests cover a large period of time and comprise thousands of records, many of which are not centrally located, that TEMA must collect from across the State and review.
TEMA continues to work as quickly as possible to respond to all current and future requests for records.”