By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Daily Star
In a 23-page order late Friday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Coury acknowledged that Arizona law “recognizes liberal inspection of public records.” And he said the information being sought is definitely newsworthy.
But the judge also noted the materials are being gathered by the Arizona Department of Health Services under a 2002 law that allows the governor to declare an Enhanced Surveillance Advisory. He said that law has various provisions making the information provided by nursing homes confidential.
About the only thing Coury conceded is the media outlets that filed suit may be entitled to information about the availability of “personal protective equipment.” But he said that will require a full-blown trial to determine whether state health officials must provide it.
In arguments to the court, attorney David Bodney said the public is entitled to the information.