Judge, again, orders release of DMR documents

A Harrison County judge has ordered State Auditor Stacey Pickering and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources to releasing documents sought by a Gulf Coast newspaper.

Chancery Judge Jennifer Schloegel on Wednesday ordered the documents produced by Monday. She had issued a similar order in October.

Pickering has argued a federal subpoena has prevented his releasing documents seized from MDMR during a corruption investigation. However, Schloegel had found the DMR records were created by the agency, not as investigative reports.

The Sun Herald (http://bit.ly/1g7rjT2 ) had sued Pickering for access to records that his office had seized from the MDMR as part of an ongoing state and federal investigation of the agency.

The newspaper had asked Schloegel to hold Pickering and his office in civil contempt of court for failing to turn over records it has sought. The judge has not ruled on that motion.