- Associated Press - Friday, February 12, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Democratic Party is suing Gov. Mary Fallin, alleging that her office has failed to provide requested public records.

The Oklahoman (http://bit.ly/1mxjWsX ) reports that in the lawsuit filed in Oklahoma County District Court, the party asked for records on how much money the governor spent on her trip to the Paris Air Show in June. The organization says its request still hasn’t been fulfilled about eight months later.

Oklahoma Democratic Party chairman Mark Hammons said the party had concerns that it was inappropriate for the governor to take the trip while there were severe storms and flooding in Oklahoma.

In the request, Hammons asked for information such as travel costs and source of funding for the expenses.

“Transparency is always better than secrecy,” Hammons said. “So just turn over the records. … If you’re not turning over the records, that gives the appearance that you’re not turning them over because it would be embarrassing to you or because there’s a problem with what you’ve done.”

Michael McNutt, spokesman for the governor’s office, said the party is trying to precede others who filed open records requests before it.

“This is just a political stunt by the Oklahoma Democratic Party because it is aware the governor’s office responds to open records requests on a first-come, first-serve basis,” McNutt said. “Unfortunately, the Oklahoma Democratic Party, during this time of budget challenges, wants the state to spend money defending this lawsuit.”

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com

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