Judge dismisses Delta County open records complaint

Delta County Citizen Report: After a show cause hearing held on April 11, District Judge Mary Deganhart dismissed a complaint made by Delta County Citizen Report (DCCR) concerning four requests for open records. Deganhart wrote in her ruling, “the Court cannot find that the County denied the right to inspect any record requested by Plaintiffs in CORA requests 1 to 4.” The court also found that the complaint was not frivolous, vexatious, or groundless and did not award attorney fees to the County.

“At the end of the day, DCCR was unable to make a case that partial records and exorbitant cost constituted an affective denial,” said DCCR Board President JoAnn Kalenak who testified at the hearing.

DCCR had been seeking credit card records for County Administrator Robbie LeValley from October 2012, when she was first hired, to November 2018, when the County claims LeValley first had access to a credit card. The complaint alleged that, while some records were provided, others were omitted. Extreme cost variations between the four open records requests were also at issue.

Judge Deganhart wrote “no evidence was introduced that Ms. LeValley ever actually used another credit card prior to that date [November 2018] and the meaning of “associated with” is vague and subject to interpretation.”

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