Charles Town, W.Va. (AP) -- A circuit court judge has ruled that a petition signed by Jefferson County residents is not a public document and can be kept secret.
Judge David Sanders ruled Friday that county clerk Jennifer Maghan is within her rights to withhold the names of the 2,000 people who signed a petition related to a Nov. 7 zoning referendum.
Sanders ruled that since the petition was circulated by a private group rather than a government agency, it is not a public record.
Lawyer Stephen Skinner, who filed the lawsuit seeking access to the petition, says he plans to file an appeal and hopes the State Supreme Court will take up the case.
(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
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