Paper: Blackwood Planned to Release Baumgartner File

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports it has obtained a letter from Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) indicating he planned to make public the entire investigative file on former Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner, with a few exceptions to protect personal information. Two days later, however, Blackwood announced he would not release the file, saying he did not have authority to unseal it. The paper received the letter in response to a public records request filed with the TBI. Similar requests were filed with Blackwood, Knox County District Attorney General Randy Nichols and the Administrative Office of the Courts. The paper reports that Blackwood has agreed to honor the request but has not set a date for releasing the information, while Nichols has refused, citing the documents as work product in ongoing cases. The News Sentinel has more