The UCF Board of Trustees faces the possibility of major sanctions, including fines or jail time, for failing to produce records in one of the public records lawsuits it’s defending.
John Becker’s attorney, Andrea Mogensen, filed a motion for contempt against UCF for refusing to comply with court orders telling UCF to produce records relating to a controversial study by Mark Regnerus on gay and lesbian parenting.
According to the motion, Becker seeks sanctions, including fines or imprisonment, for UCF’s Board of Trustees for failure to comply with the court’s Nov. 13 order, which stated that UCF had until Nov. 14 to produce the records.
But even after UCF’s lawyers asked the court for clarification over the production of the records and received an extension to produce the records, UCF continued to disobey the court’s orders, the motion states.
“It is inexcusable – and, frankly, inexplicable – for UCF to fail to produce public records in direct contravention of a court order,” said Barbara Peterson, attorney and president of Florida’s First Amendment Foundation. “The university’s failure to comply shows, unfortunately, not only contempt for the court but for the public’s constitutional right of access to government records.”
John Becker, an LGBT activist, writer and blogger, filed a lawsuit against UCF back in March when he requested emails related to Mark Regnerus’s New Family Structures study. UCF houses the journal, however they denied his public records request. UCF professor James Wright is the editor of Social Science Research journal, which published the research paper at issue.
UCF insisted that Wright’s emails were not public record because they were not related to university business. The judge ruling on the issue disagreed that these records should be kept secret.
KnightNews.com asked UCF for a comment but did not immediately hear back.