Commissioners: Clerk can’t dictate what constitutes a public document

The Daily Sentinel: One can’t simply write on a document saying it isn’t subject to government open records laws, give it to an elected official and then claim that document isn’t open to the public. Doing so is antithetical to a democracy, county officials and open government experts said Monday.

But that’s exactly what Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters and her supporters did when they claimed that an anonymous report that falls far short of showing that the 2020 general election was somehow compromised that Peters gave to commissioners Friday was not subject to the state’s open records laws.

In the title to a cover letter to that report from Peters to Mesa County Commissioners Janet Rowland, Scott McInnis and Cody Davis, the embattled clerk who is facing possible criminal charges and a lawsuit to remove her as the county’s election chief wrote: “Confidential Legal Documents Exempt from Colorado Open Records Act.”

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