Colorado Ethics Watch is closing its doors after 11 years of helping Coloradans hold public officials accountable and winning some significant battles for government transparency in the state legislature and in court.
It’s been on the books since the state legislature adopted the Colorado Open Records Act nearly a half-century ago: Anyone who “willfully and knowingly” violates the statute is guilty of a misdemeanor and faces up to 90 days in jail and a $100 fine. But on Aug. 9, when Senate Bill 17-040 goes into effect, the criminal penalty in CORA will disappear.
What’s “fake news” and what’s not? You might forgive the public for not knowing the difference these days, given how often that term is tossed about. Because media literacy is an issue both nationally and locally, it was the ideal topic for a Sunshine Week panel called “Getting to the truth in an age of alternative facts.”
Will 2016 be remembered as the year we realized just how much our democracy depends on an informed citizenry? The fake news epidemic was one of many issues the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition highlighted in 2016 or wrote about on its blog.
The private emails flap was one of many transparency-related stories we highlighted in 2015 or broke ourselves.
Successfully challenging a denial of public records entitles you to some portion of your attorneys’ fees even if it was a records custodian who initiated the court action, the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition and two other organizations argued in a friend-of-the-court brief.