U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Utah AG appeals order to turn over calendar to news outlet and pay court fees

Incident Details


A portion of the order issued on Feb. 27, 2024, by a district court directing Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes to release his calendar and pay more than $130,000 in court fees to KSL-TV journalist Annie Knox.

February 27, 2024

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes on May 24, 2024, appealed a February court order that he release his official calendar as part of an open records request and reimburse a journalist and her outlet’s attorneys fees.

KSL-TV journalist Annie Knox requested Reyes’ official calendar in November 2022. The State Records Committee ruled in May 2023, that the calendar — with personal appointments and locations redacted — should be public. On Feb. 27, 2024, 3rd District Judge Patrick Corum agreed, and ordered the attorney general to pay $132,241 in the journalist’s court fees.

“He’s a public official and all we’re asking for is what his official duties were in his calendar,” Knox’s attorney David C. Reymann told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. “Daily calendars are essentially the most basic information about how they do their jobs.”

In his summary judgment, Corum noted that six people in the attorney general’s office had access to the calendar as part of their official duties.

In a similar case brought by Salt Lake Tribune reporter Jessica Miller that seeks a different time frame of the calendar, the State Records Committee agreed that Reyes’ calendar should be open to the public. Reyes appealed that ruling and it was randomly assigned to Corum, the same judge that heard Knox’s case.

A spokesperson for Reyes didn’t respond to an email from the Tracker seeking comment.

The fight over calendars is unlikely to be repeated in Utah: The state Legislature passed a law, also on Feb. 27, making all calendars of government employees private. But the law change doesn’t apply retroactively to these two cases.

Reyes’ appeal of Knox’s case could take a year or more to resolve, Reymann said, meaning the attorney general would be out of office before the release of his calendar. He is not seeking reelection.

Knox “wanted to do some reporting on how he’s been spending his time, and this [case] has prevented her from doing this,” Reymann told the Tracker.

Among the issues in question are ties between Reyes and Tim Ballard, founder of the anti-human trafficking group Operation Underground Railroad, who has been accused of sexual misconduct. Reyes’ office has opened an investigation into Ballard.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].