S.C. judge bars Charleston newspaper from publishing tapes

Monday, May 5, 2008

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A judge has ordered a Charleston newspaper not to publish any recordings of phone calls state Sen. Randy Scott made from jail last month after he was arrested on a drunken-driving charge.

The Dorchester County Sheriff's Office turned over the tapes after The Post and Courier requested them under the Freedom of Information Act.

But the newspaper reported that lawyers for Scott, R-Summerville, successfully sued to have any publication of the tapes stopped at least until a hearing tomorrow before 1st Circuit Judge James Williams Jr.

Defense attorney Robby Robbins argued that the tapes could keep Scott from getting a fair trial and said the jail may have been wrong to tape the conversations.

Post and Courier lawyer John Kerr said the newspaper would abide by the judge's May 2 ruling, but would argue at tomorrow's hearing that it should be able to publish the tapes.

Williams also ordered the sheriff’s department not to further distribute the tapes.

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