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Hamilton County Officials Question Redactions in Paul Brown Stadium Lease Documents

Paul Brown Stadium

After the Cincinnati Enquirer received 275 pages of redacted documents on a new Paul Brown Stadium lease, Hamilton County commissioners asked officials to reconsider their response to the newspaper.

In November, it was revealed that Hamilton County and the Cincinnati Bengals had come to terms on a revised lease for Paul Brown Stadium. While some broad strokes of the agreement were disclosed at the time, the Cincinnati Enquirer filed a request to see related documents in order to gain more insight on the deal. When county administrators responded six months later, the Enquirer received 275 pages that were mostly redacted, with the county citing confidentiality.

The Enquirer filed a court challenge on Thursday, and the response by county attorneys is being questioned by a few elected Hamilton County commissioners. More from the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Commissioner Stephanie Summerow Dumas said confidentiality shouldn’t go so far as to interfere with the public’s right to know what the government is doing.

“You can’t get an understanding of what’s going on when everything is redacted,” she said.

“I was surprised,” she said of the redactions in the lease records. “I can’t justify it or tell you why.”

Commission President Denise Driehaus said county administrators and lawyers should “err on the side of transparency.” She said she’s asked the administration to review its decision and to determine whether any of the documents can be disclosed.

The Enquirer’s request was to seek some particulars on agreement, such as how negotiations had played out and what give-and-take was involved in the discussions. Additionally, the details revealed in November noted that Hamilton County agreed to buy a nearby site that the Bengals could eventually redevelop into a practice facility, but the cost of a purchase remains unknown.

Image courtesy Paul Brown Stadium.

RELATED STORIES: Bengals, Hamilton County Strike Revised Paul Brown Stadium Deal

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