Ah, this is rich.

Between 1980 and 2004, the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities made upgrades to its three power plants. In at least 15 cases, it failed to apply for or receive New Source Review permits beforehand, or monitor emissions afterwards, putting it in violation of the Clean Air Act.

In Nov. 2004, the board’s attorney sent it a memo notifying it that the violations opened it up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in possible fines. The letter was marked confidential, but somehow it leaked.

The Kansas City Star and the local alternative weekly The Pitch both wrote stories about it.

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This past Friday, a state judge ordered the papers to remove the articles from their websites and barred them from publishing further stories based on the attorney’s memo. (KCS covered the judge’s order here; Pitch covered it here.) Both papers are seeking an emergency hearing; the judge hasn’t scheduled one until next Friday.

Yippee for the First Amendment, right?

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Here’s the punchline: Both the original pieces have already been cached by Google. They are available here and here. Oops!

Government suppression of information sure is tricky with all these internet tubes everywhere.

(via TPM)