Behind the story: Public records requests to UMMC prove futile

June 4, 2018, The Clarion-Ledger, Anna Wolfe- During the Clarion Ledger’s investigation into a legal battle between the University of Mississippi Medical Center and a former doctor who started his own pediatric clinic, the newspaper requested documents to prove or disprove several allegations - from a mass exodus of pediatricians to stalled equipment purchases to cockroaches and mold inside the hospital. After four months of discussing which records exist and negotiating the cost, the documents produced yielded few answers. Of the 11 requests, UMMC produced records responsive to five. For the first six requests - payroll information, emails and inspection reports - UMMC attempted to charge Clarion Ledger $2,554.08, which included hourly charges for the time the medical center’s public information officer spent on the request, such as talking to the reporter on the phone.

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