Judge releases depositions in Williams divorce case after finding seals had been tampered with

05/13/2011 03:32 PM

Circuit Judge Eddie Lovelace ruled Friday to release sealed depositions in Republican Senate President David Williams’ 2003 divorce case after finding the seals on the documents had been broken.

“This Court was deeply disturbed over the fact that it was very evident that both documents had been opened on plural occasions as the tape sealing the documents had been altered,” Lovelace wrote in the order. “This Court does not know whether documents have been removed, added to or changed in some manner.”

He went on to write that there was no way to “fault anyone” for the tampering with sealed records.

“However, this seriously impugns the integrity of the court system and is an affront to the orderly administration of justice,” he said.

Williams, reached by phone while campaigning in Whitley County, said he found out those records had been previously opened while on a conference call with the judge and the attorney for the Louisville Courier-Journal.

“I don’t know who broke it, but there’s no evidence someone took anything out,” Williams said.

The Courier-Journal has fought in court for the release of the records after the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that other court records from Williams’ divorce case showed that he reported $36,000 in gambling losses.

Williams said in the phone interview that the documents say he made 10 trips to casinos over six years.

He also said he fought the release of documents because he didn’t want financial information of his first wife, Elaine Webb, released to the public.

Williams said he told Lovelace he would consent to the release of his sealed deposition and any questions to his former wife about him in her deposition. But her deposition turned out not to be in the sealed records but in the files that were already public records.

“I never objected to any of that anyway except for the personal information of my former wife. The judge said there’s no testimony by her that hadn’t already been out in the public record,” Williams said.

As a result of the broken seals, Lovelace ordered the release of the files in Burkesville. The Courier-Journal reported earlier this week that Lovelace planned to release some of the deposition records.

- Ryan Alessi


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