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Friday, August 1, 2008


Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan on July 22 appointed a bipartisan duo of lawyers to take over a lawsuit that seeks to compel Gov. Matt Blunt to turn over e-mails being sought by investigators looking into whether the governor and top administration officials violated Missouri’s open records law. Callahan appointed Joe Maxwell and Louis Leonatti, both of Mexico, Mo., as “special assistant attorneys general” after earlier ruling that a team of independent investigators picked by Attorney General Jay Nixon to look into the matter had no legal standing to demand the records.

Maxwell, a Democrat, is a former lieutenant governor and state lawmaker. Leonatti, a Republican, was nominated for the federal bench by President George Bush in 1992 but never confirmed for the post by the U.S. Senate. Callahan gave Maxwell and Leonatti until Aug. 26 to decide whether to continue pursuing the lawsuit.

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