Hawaii pays off lawyers' fees for Honolulu newspaper - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii pays off lawyers' fees for Honolulu newspaper

HONOLULU (AP) - The Hawaii governor has approved the state's last payment to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, bringing an end to a legal battle that began when the newspaper sued to force officials to disclose the names of judicial nominees.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the payment of $45,000 is the last installment in the reimbursement of the paper's lawyers' fees.

The lawsuit against former Gov. Neil Abercrombie cost taxpayers $115,272. The Democrat refused to release the names of applicants for state judge positions, reversing the practice of predecessors.

State open records law dictates that government documents are presumed public unless officials show a compelling reason to withhold them.

Abercrombie had argued that releasing applicants' names could discourage people from applying, but the judge said officials did not provide any proof of this.

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