Court: Exhibits used in pill mill trial should be withheld


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A federal appeals court has sided with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in a fight over the agency’s refusal to release thousands of pages of exhibits used in the trial of a doctor convicted of running an Ohio pill mill.

Providence-based freelance journalist Phil Eil sought records in the 2011 trial of Paul Volkman in Cincinnati. The DEA refused to release most of them, citing patients’ privacy.

A federal judge in Rhode Island ruled in 2016 that disclosure was in the public interest.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled last week that releasing the records likely wouldn’t advance a valid public interest given the amount of relevant information already available, and also cited privacy concerns.

Eil says the lawsuit was successful because some documents were released.

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