Colorado Springs council approves ordinance to place high-dollar settlements in public spotlight

The Gazette (Colorado Springs): Lawmakers and open-government advocates are commending the Colorado Springs City Council for passing laws to bring high-dollar lawsuit settlements out of closed-door meetings and into the public spotlight.

The council unanimously approved three ordinances on the topic Tuesday, but city attorneys said they have been following the practices outlined in them since August.

The laws come after The Gazette reported that the council in closed-door meetings had paid about $5.4 million in lawsuit settlements – for cases including claims of racial and gender discrimination – since 2013.

State open meetings laws prohibit officials from voting or taking final actions in executive sessions

City attorneys and some council members have maintained that the council broke no laws and crossed no lines in past lawsuit settlements. Others on the council had expressed unease at the practice.

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