Human resources releases Gaston’s and Shield’s personnel records, sensitive material withheld

Human resources releases Gaston’s and Shield’s personnel records, sensitive material withheld

Managing Editor Harley Duncan

Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Catherine White released portions of Gregory Gaston’s and David Shield’s personnel records Sept. 13, after The Flor-Ala published an article Sept. 6 detailing White’s original denial Aug. 9 for the public documents.

 The records contain a history of information connected to hiring, salary and work assignments; however, the released documents do not contain any information that indicates why the UNA Police Department put Gaston on trespass notice June 22.

White said the university respectfully denied the extent of The Flor-Ala’s request due to the application of “a rule-of-reason test” Stone v. Consolidated Publishing Co. permits. She said the test balances privacy interests against the need for releasing public documents.

 “Courts must balance the interest of the citizens in knowing what their public officers are doing in the discharge of public duties against the interest of the general public in having the business of government carried on efficiently and without undue interference,” according to Stone v. Consolidated Publishing Co.

 White’s letter also details examples listed in Stone v. Consolidated Publishing Co. that gives the university the right to deny certain information within personnel records.

 “Recorded information received by a public officer in confidence, sensitive personnel records, pending criminal investigations, and records the disclosure of which would be detrimental to the best interests of the public are some of the areas which may not be subject to public disclosure,” according to Stone v. Consolidated Publishing Co.