Aspen woman seeks records of complaint

From the Aspen Daily News: The lawyer for the woman suing Pitkin County over its refusal to release a complaint made against her is using the county attorney’s website to bolster her case.

Elesabeth Shook went to court in June in her effort to see who complained about a construction project on her property in the summer of 2012. The county’s code enforcement officer investigated and found that the project involved “significant work,” including the use of an excavator, that was performed without requisite permits.

Shook was issued a notice of violation, and the matter was dropped once the permits were obtained, the code enforcement officer, Carrington Brown, testified in the June hearing.

Shook and her attorney, Chris Bryan of Aspen, filed a request under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) to get the complaint. They are also seeking an email from Brown and a county paralegal to County Attorney John Ely, and Brown’s notes from his investigation.

The county attorney’s office has said the release of the documents could lead to retaliation against the complainant and general neighborhood animosity. At the June hearing, assistant county attorney Laura Makar also cited exceptions to CORA that allow the county to keep the records sealed.

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