Minn. high court to hear appeal on contractor data

Published On: Dec 26 2012 12:54:42 PM CST
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -

A dispute over access to records kept by a private contractor doing public work is headed to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The high court intends to review a Minnesota Court of Appeals decision that ruled a small-town newspaper could get access to contractor data related to a major school construction project. The case has broader implications for how records held by private companies are treated when the work is done at public expense.

Construction management firm Johnson Controls Inc., and subcontractor Architectural Resources Inc. want to shield data from school construction work in St. Louis County. The Ely-based Timberjay Newspapers sued to get access.

In October, Minnesota's appeals court concluded that Johnson Controls performed a governmental function, so project records are public data under state law.