Several Colorado news organizations have asked a Chaffee County District Court judge to reconsider his June 4 order sealing the 130-page arrest warrant affidavit for Barry Morphew, who is accused of murdering his wife, Suzanne Morphew, in 2020.
Public Records Laws
A Denver news organization’s lawsuit seeks the public disclosure of photos showing the tourniquet and plastic bed sheets allegedly used to kill an inmate at the federal Supermax prison in Florence last year.
The 2021 Colorado legislative session produced a mixed bag of good and not-so-good developments for those concerned about government transparency.
One change will impact the release of body-worn and dashboard camera footage, and another might help mitigate the loss of public information caused by the encryption of police radio transmissions. Two additional provisions address public access to records of completed police internal affairs investigations and lists of officers who have credibility issues.
While reporting their recent joint investigative series on state-licensed residential treatment centers, journalists for The Colorado Sun and 9NEWS asked for — but were denied — records showing the number of calls made to the state’s child abuse hotline from three facilities.
A bill that lets public bodies in Colorado disclose just one finalist when choosing a new chief executive officer such as a school superintendent, a university president or a city manager will become law without the signature of Gov. Jared Polis.
Reporter Ashley Franco had to fight for the footage as well as investigative and disciplinary records related to the April 12 incident, both of which were initially withheld by the Fremont School District in response to her Colorado Open Records Act requests.
State representatives inserted a provision addressing police radio encryption into a law-enforcement accountability measure that builds on the major police reform bill passed in 2020.
A lawsuit filed by The Gazette, reporter Chris Osher and The Invisible Institute, a Chicago-based journalism nonprofit, seeks the public disclosure of Colorado’s database of certified law enforcement officers.
The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition sent a letter to Gov. Jared Polis, requesting a veto of House Bill 21-1051, which would allow state and local public bodies to disclose just one finalist for chief executive officer positions.