Lawsuit seeks El Paso redistricting documents

Colorado Times Recorder: A lawsuit filed against the El Paso County Board of Commissioners claims that the Board of Commissioners is withholding documents related to the county’s redistricting process in violation of the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA).

On April 16 James Howald requested, “any studies or presentations that were prepared by Mr. Dwayne Liller while he was an El Paso County public employee working in the county’s Clerk and Recorder office and that pertain to the evaluation of geographic, demographic, or socioeconomic impacts of previous redistricting of El Paso County Commissioner districts. These may include any studies, internal reports, and presentations that analyze past county redistricting efforts and how they relate to such matters as communities of interest, political competitiveness, and minority group voting representation.”

In an April 20 email, Natalie Sosa, the El Paso County deputy director of communications, claimed that the requested documents “are considered work product and are being withheld pursuant to C.R.S. § 24-72-202(6)(a) which excludes work product from the definition of public records. (6.5)(a) defines work product to include “intra- or inter-agency advisory or deliberative materials assembled for the benefit of elected officials, which materials express an opinion or are deliberative in nature and are communicated for the purpose of assisting such elected officials in reaching a decision within the scope of their authority.”

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