Colorado state senator used text message to avoid open records scrutiny

The Denver Gazette: In the week prior to Colorado Sen. Kevin Priola announcing that he was flipping political parties, the soon-to-be-Democrat said in a text message to his soon-to-be party leader that he would share certain information with him but wanted to avoid the state’s email system so as not to leave a paper trail subject to public scrutiny.

Priola’s Aug. 14 text message with Senate President Stephen Fenberg, D-Boulder, about avoiding the Colorado Open Records Act was prompted by a Denver Gazette request to interview Priola about electric vehicles and Fenberg’s inquiry about what was asked, according to copies of the exchange provided to The Denver Gazette by a political watchdog group.

The newspaper’s interview request also appears to have prompted Priola to accelerate the announcement that he was switching political parties, according to the exchange. He announced the switch in late August. 

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