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Lawyers for the Legislature have asked a federal magistrate to deny a motion to identify confidential sources related to a legislative auditor general's audit of the Department of Corrections.

The information and all work papers from the 1990 audit have been requested by the attorney for Sheila Fry, who filed a sexual-harassment lawsuit in March against her former boss, Lew Jolley, and Corrections Director Gary DeLand.Fry, who no longer works at the department, alleges Jolley fondled her and made lewd comments. She alleges DeLand knew of the claimed harassment and did nothing. Jolley retired in August 1990 as the department's chief of investigations.

Catherine DuPont, legislative associate general counsel, contends turning over the information would constitute an interference with a core legislative function and violate the protection of free speech.

U.S. Magistrate Ronald Boyce is scheduled to hear arguments on the issue Thursday.

The legislative auditor general is not required to disclose confidential sources because "the informants would in all probability experience retribution at the workplace," DuPont said.

Among the powers granted to the auditor general, she said, is the power to conduct legislative audits and reviews of departments without interference.

The audit released last December did not contain allegations of sexual harassment within the department.

The auditors found more than 300 of Corrections' 1,500 employees are related to at least one other department employee. They also said the department's resources have been used primarily for security.