NOV. 8, 2002
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu

A journalist, a defense attorney and a government counsel will discuss the ethics of keeping public records secret at a panel discussion sponsored by the Kegley Institute of Ethics at California State University, Bakersfield.

The panel discussion, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. in the CSUB Student Union multi-purpose room, will feature Mike Jenner, executive editor of The Bakersfield Californian, Stanley Simrin, a defense attorney with the law firm of Simrin and Moloughney, and Robert Woods, a lawyer with the Kern County Counsel's Office. Christopher Meyers, a professor in the philosophy and religious studies department and director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics, will moderate the discussion, titled "Justice, Privacy and the Public's Right to Know."

Meyers organized the panel discussion in the wake of The Californian's efforts to unseal public documents relating to the Steven Tauzer murder case. A Kern County Superior Court judge had sealed the records to prevent public disclosures of details of the case. The newspaper sued to have the records opened, and the records were subsequently released.

"This is a timely and important issue in a free society," Meyers said. "There are no easy answers because you have to weigh the public's expectation that its business will be conducted in public, and a defendant's expectation to a fair trial."

Admission is free, and the public is invited to attend, Meyers said. Parking is also free for the event.

For more information about the discussion, please call (661) 665-6303.