Newspaper asks Steamboat Spgs. to reconsider denial of request for reports on police probe

From Steamboat Today (Steamboat Springs):  A lawyer representing the Steamboat Pilot & Today sent a letter to the city attorney Thursday asking him to reconsider his decision not to release reports related to the police department investigation.

On July 10, the Steamboat Today filed a records request for the reports prepared by Kathy Nuanes, an independent investigator who was hired by the city to look into allegations made against the department’s leaders, Chief Joel Rae and Deputy Chief Bob DelValle.

City attorney Tony Lettunich wrote July 15 that the reports by Nuanes are criminal justice records, and he forwarded the request to the custodian of criminal justice records at the police department.

“As to any records which might arguably be outside of the scope of the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act, we are treating those requested documents as personnel records and as such, (they) are not available for review,” Lettunich wrote.

In the letter, Steamboat Pilot & Today attorney Chris Beall wrote that Nuanes’ reports do not qualify as criminal justice records because her reports were not prepared by a criminal justice agency.

“Second, the law is abundantly clear and well settled that a report on a municipality’s investigation of a city department head’s conduct on the job is not and cannot be deemed to fall within the personnel file exemption of the CORA (Colorado Open Records Act),” Beall wrote.

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