Cabinet ordered to pay newspapers, legal fees

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A judge has ruled that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services must pay more than $16,000 in penalties to three newspapers plus about $57,000 in attorneys' fees over access to records concerning children who were killed or nearly killed from abuse and neglect.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd's orders Thursday were in cases involving the Lexington Herald-Leader, The Courier-Journal and the weekly Todd County Standard, the Herald-Leader reported ( The newspapers sued over access to the records, and Shepherd ruled the cabinet had improperly withheld the documents.

Health and Family Services Secretary Janie Miller said in an email Thursday night from the cabinet that the agency is considering options regarding the award. She said that to protect children's privacy, the expense "was definitely well worth the price."

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