Sorrell files on Dean’s behalf in records lawsuit

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(Host) State Attorney General William Sorrell is defending former Governor Howard Dean in a lawsuit over his gubernatorial records. Earlier this month, the group Judicial Watch filed suit to seek access to all of Dean’s records as governor. Responses were due in court on Tuesday.

Sorrell says he wants to protect a state policy that allows governors to claim executive privilege.

(Sorrell) “The Vermont Supreme Court has spoken repeatedly about the validity of executive privilege. And we’ve got a longstanding bipartisan history here in Vermont, Republican and Democratic governors alike sealing their records for some period of time after they leave office. So this is nothing different than has been the case.”

(Host) Dean kept some of his records closed for three years longer than his predecessor. Dean’s Democratic opponents have seized on the issue. But Sorrell says Dean’s position is reasonable.

(Sorrell) “More than half the Dean records are open for public scrutiny. But there are those that are sealed consistent with what our practice has been and what we believe our law to be.”

(Host) Judicial watch has asked the court to hear the case as soon as possible.

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