Houston Nutt’s lawyer wants to go through Hugh Freeze’s phone records.
Ole Miss notified Houston Nutt’s lawyer that producing those records would cost a mere twenty-five grand. (I guess the working theory is if Hugh had to pay for escorts, make the Nuttster pay for the escorts’ numbers.)
In the correspondence, Jolly claims Mars’ record requests of Freeze’s phone logs from would cost Mars $25,100. The university contended it would need to use outside counsel to go through the calls.
“Considering the scope of your request, the need for redacting exempt information, the fact we are in active litigation with your client, and the number of recent public records requests received by UM, outside counsel will be engaged to assist in handling this request,” Jolly allegedly wrote. “Based on the preceding reasons, please consider this email notification that UM is unable to provide the requested documents within seven working days from the receipt of your 7/18/2017 request.”
Mars was irritated with Ole Miss’ position on his request.
“Since you did not identify a single exemption or legal authority to justify your position, I spent the last two days considering how the list of vague reasons you offered for requiring a full legal review of the phone logs, denying me access to them in the meantime, redacting them, and charging me for an unnecessary and meaningless legal review might possibly be justified under the Public Records Act or by some other Mississippi legal authority,” Mars wrote. “I could find absolutely no legal basis for you to rely on an exemption to delay producing the phone logs, redacting them, or making a ransom demand for the phone logs of between $25,000 and $50,000.”
In his back-and-forth with Ole Miss, Mars also included three legal authorities in order to support his position. He also requested the university present him by Monday afternoon with the statutory exemption it relies on to withhold the phone logs.
“Unless you can provide persuasive authority for your position, or reconsider your position before then, you can count on me taking you to court,” Mars wrote. “If it’s going to take a Mississippi judge to make Ole Miss comply with the Public Records Act, so be it.”
(As an aside, seven working days to produce? Greg McGarity makes a “pffftt” sound in Ole Miss’ general direction.)
This Mars dude isn’t taking prisoners. Some advice for Ole Miss here: like seemingly every athletic department out there, PR isn’t your strong suit, so giving this guy public ammo at every turn probably isn’t going to be a winning strategy. It’s highly entertaining, though; I’ll give you that.