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Oklahoma lawmaker targets public records Web site

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Modified: July 10, 2009 at 8:21 pm •  Published: July 10, 2009
A state lawmaker accused a Web site operator Friday of benefiting financially from a "sweetheart deal" in which it charges fees for access to public court records in more than 60 Oklahoma counties.

Rep. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, called for an investigation into a Web site hosted by Duncan-based KellPro, Inc., that he said charges a fee to view public information about defendants who are convicted in state district courts.

"I want an investigation to understand what is going on," Reynolds said. "I'd like to see it nipped in the bud before the state gets involved in a lawsuit. As lawmakers we preach every year how we are making government more transparent to the public."

KellPro's president, Tim Keller, said the court records Web site is accessible only to attorneys, judges and court officials who pay a fee to view images in public cases.

Keller said the public can view court documents and other records in criminal cases by going to the courthouses where they are filed.

He also said the company does not own the images on its Web site and that they remain public property. He said his company just provides the Web site that offers access to the documents.

Reynolds said he learned of the Web site while researching the case of David Earls, 64, who pleaded no contest last month to first-degree rape and forcible sodomy in the assault of a 4-year-old McAlester girl and was sentenced to one year in jail.

Reynolds says he was shocked to find public records in the Earls case were not available online without paying a fee to view them.

He said he has asked Rep.

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