JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Attorney General Jim Hood says Mississippi government agencies can’t keep legal settlements secret, but leaders of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics say their hands are tied by a federal judge’s order.
The bureau in June settled a federal lawsuit brought by employee Mary Katherine Sullivan alleging deputy director Mike Perkins and others sexually harassed her, creating a hostile work environment.
Bureau Director Sam Owens said Wednesday that U.S. Magistrate Judge John Roper ordered parties to keep the agreement confidential, saying he can’t overrule a federal judge.
Perkins retired Aug. 4.
Hood says some settlement agreements previously signed by the state have contained a clause calling for terms to be released only under the public records law. Hood, though, says he intends to instruct lawyers to stop inserting that clause.
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