Town of Basalt sues woman over open-records request for text messages

From The Aspen Times:  A resident who filed a request with the Basalt government under the Colorado Open Records Act has been sued by the town.

The town filed a complaint for declaratory judgment in Eagle County District Court on Friday asking a judge to determine if it must provide the texts requested by resident Mary Kenyon and, if so, if it can charge her retrieval fees.

Kenyon said she was served with the lawsuit Sunday afternoon while she was hanging out on her deck with her dog. The town government’s action surprised her because six days earlier, on April 25, she was told the town would comply.

Kenyon made a formal request to the town April 18 for all emails and texts between Town Clerk Pam Schilling and Mayor Jacque Whitsitt between March 15 and April 12. She wants to know what they discussed during a heated election that Schilling was overseeing. She alleges that the election procedures were flawed.

Kenyon received the emails but Schilling informed her that she deleted the texts. Schilling contacted Verizon to try to retrieve them and was told she would have to speak to the legal department and possibly provide a court order.

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