The paper is “seeking a judicial review of the denial of access to records

Cookeville – According to a recent article published by Cookeville’s Herald–Citizen newspaper (HC), the publication is filing an open records lawsuit against Cookeville Regional Medical Center claiming “the city-owned hospital violated the state’s open record law by refusing to release information about upper management’s salaries amid a controversial hire — and eventual layoffs.” 

The HC is “seeking a judicial review of the denial of access to records in the Chancery Court of Putnam County,” according to the article. HC says the lawsuit stems from what they claim were repeated denials of access to salary records when an upper management position was created for former Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton.

Shelton briefly served as Chief Strategy Officer of CRMC.

“The announcement of Shelton’s appointment was followed by questions from the public about whether the position was ever advertised and how much his salary would be, as well as an investigation initiated by the city council,” according to the article. “One of the council members raised concerns that the position was offered to then-Mayor Shelton while he was still on the hospital board.”

The HC says managing editor Lindsay Pride made “two requests for all records related to salaries of C-level executives and the medical staff executives two requests In May 2021.”

Both requests were denied, according to the article. Paul McAdoo from The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press will represent Pride and the HC in the suit.

This is an ongoing story. Check back for updates.

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