From ColoradoWatchdog.org: Cherry Creek Schools are refusing to release disciplinary records for a food service employee who said she was fired because she gave free food to children who couldn’t afford to pay for school lunch.
Open records advocates and Watchdog.org attorney Jonathan Segal say the district is improperly interpreting Colorado Open Records Act to claim the records are exempt from disclosure.
“My understanding of the law is that this is an inaccurate reading” of CORA, said Jeff Roberts, executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition. “This is an ongoing battle over what is considered to be in the public employees’ confidential personnel records.”
CORA specifies documents in an employee’s personnel file that are exempt from disclosure, but very narrowly defines what is in a personnel file to an employee’s home address, phone and information maintained because of the employer-employee relationship.
Segal wrote the district Tuesday pointing out courts have upheld the very narrow definition of what governments cannot disclose from the personnel file.
“The District’s refusal is contrary to both the plan language of CORA and decisions interpreting it,” he wrote. “The District’s denial of Mr. Kane’s requests is clearly incorrect when viewed through the lens of the plain language of the statute and the cases interpreting it.”