Saguache County administrator selection not conducted according to statute

Center Post-Dispatch: During the selection process for county administrator this summer, all meetings regarding the administrator’s selection were conducted during executive session, which appears to be a violation of the Colorado Open Records Act.

Saguache County has a long history of open records and open meetings violations according to former Colorado Press Association attorney Steve Zansberg.

While a job description for the position was made available by county administration after the fact, state law requires that:
“A search committee of a state public body or local public body shall establish job search goals, including the writing of the job description, deadlines for applications, requirements for applicants, selection procedures, and the time frame for appointing or employing a chief executive officer of an agency, authority, institution, or other entity at an open meeting.

The state or local public body shall make public the list of all finalists under consideration for the position of chief executive officer no later than 14 days prior to appointing or employing one of the finalists to fill the position. No offer of appointment or employment shall be made prior to this public notice. Records submitted by or on behalf of a finalist for such position shall be subject to the provisions of section 24-72-204(3)(a)(XI).

As used in this subsection (3.5), “finalist” shall have the same meaning as in section 24-72-204(3)(a)(XI). Nothing in this subsection (3.5) shall be construed to prohibit a search committee from holding an executive session to consider appointment or employment matters not described in this subsection and otherwise authorized by this section” (CRS § 24-6-402; VIII, II, 3.5 regarding open records laws).

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