Editorial: The ‘personnel’ excuse again?

From The Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction):  Add Delta to the list of Western Slope governmental entities that either don’t understand or don’t care about transparency laws.

We’ve grown weary of public officials refusing to disclose public information because they say it’s a “personnel” matter. If they bothered to read Colorado’s Open Records Law, they would see that the Legislature has stipulated that not all data related to employment is exempt from disclosure.

The Sentinel’s Paul Shockley asked Delta’s acting city manager if the city negotiated a severance with former Police Chief Robert Thomas. The city manager said he couldn’t discuss a personnel matter.

Thomas resigned Tuesday a month after the city placed him on paid leave for reasons it refused to disclose.

The law says Shockley’s question deserves an answer. The Legislature has deemed that any benefit provided to a former public employee related to his termination of employment is not personnel data and must be disclosed.

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