A Pima County Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of the Arizona Daily Star in a suit filed against Tucson Unified School District.

The Arizona Daily Star filed the suit asking that Judge James E. Marner require TUSD to reveal the names and application materials submitted by candidates for the school district’s superintendent job.

The Star argued the records were public because the district brought in four candidates for the job and the governing board conducted individual interviews of each.

TUSD said because the interviews were conducted in executive session the district was not required to reveal the names of the candidates or the application materials, except for those of the candidate who was hired for the job, H.T. Sanchez.

In the July 31 ruling, Marner wrote TUSD’s argument that application materials are exempt “is not convincing.”

“TUSD’s proposed application (of executive session exemptions) would allow a public body to impermissibly expand the exception by unilaterally declaring that any existing outside information considered at an executive session is privileged, thereby avoiding the clear legislative intent that the actions of a public body should be taken, whenever possible, in an open forum,” Marner wrote.

When asked on Friday, TUSD officials did not know if the board would seek to appeal the ruling. The district is required to release the requested materials within 10 calendar days of the ruling.

Marner denied the Arizona Daily Star’s request for TUSD to cover attorney’s fees.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@azstarnet.com. Follow on Twitter @pm929.

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