Court to hear arguments in Penn State records case

Published June 18, 2013

What: Oral arguments before Pa. Commonwealth Court in Bagwell v. Dept. of Education

When: Tomorrow – Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:30 a.m.

Where: Pennsylvania Judicial Center, 601 Commonwealth Ave., Harrisburg, Pa., 17106

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in a case that will decide whether the public has a right to access records from some state-related universities.

Judges will consider whether records received by the Secretary of Education in his capacity as a university trustee are subject to the Right-to-Know Law. The Office of Open Records has ruled they are not subject to the law.

The case was filed in November 2012 by Penn State alumnus Ryan Bagwell, who sought records sent to Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis that described his actions as a Penn State trustee. It would also affect the public’s right to obtain records about trustees of Pennsylvania’s other state-related universities: Temple University, Lincoln University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Tomorrow’s court session is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., and Bagwell v. Dept. of Education will be the third case heard. Court rules designate 30 minutes for each case, but each could last longer if the presiding judge agrees.

Bagwell and his attorneys will be available after the hearing to answer questions.

The case will precede a hearing in Corman v. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, which seeks to prevent the distribution of Penn State fines to organizations outside of Pennsylvania. That case will be the fifth heard during the session.

For more information, contact:

Ryan Bagwell

Attorneys for Bagwell:

Craig J. Staudenmaier and Joshua D. Bonn
Nauman Smith Shissler & Hall

Attorneys for the Department of Education:

Delene Rachel Lantz Johnson
Office of General Counsel

Karen S. Feuchtenberger
Department of Education