MORGANTOWN – West Virginia University can't release records on Heather Bresch, daughter of Gov. Joe Manchin, to a Pittsburgh newspaper without carefully examining the records first, according to WVU General Counsel Alex Macia.
The Post-Gazette has notified WVU officials that it intends to sue for the records. But according to Macia, the examination process takes time.
"Approximately 1,500 pages of documents have been delivered to the Pittsuburgh Post-Gazette and other media outlets which requested information through West Virginia's Freedom of Information Act," he wrote in a March 18 statement.
University legal staff examined each document to see if it were subject to the act, he wrote.
"That process, while time-consuming, is necessary to properly respond to such a wide-ranging information request," Macia wrote.
The university has redacted information not responsive to the request, student names and records protected by privacy laws and material exempt from disclosure under the act.
"West Virginia University is strongly committed to openness in its handling of public records and documents, and the university has responded forthrightly to requests from many news media for documents related to this matter," Macia wrote.
The Post-Gazette seeks to determine if Bresch earned a master's degree or obtained it through favoritism.