Not discussed in that House committee hearing is that some news organizations in Colorado are acting on that sentiment, establishing policies that let story subjects formally ask that their names be removed from long-ago articles that live online indefinitely.
Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition
The 130-page arrest affidavit for Barry Morphew, who is accused of murdering his wife Suzanne Morphew in 2020, will remain sealed for now.
Free online access to civil court records — a positive outgrowth of the COVID-19 pandemic — will continue, even though the Colorado Supreme Court law library in downtown Denver has reopened to the public.
The Colorado Supreme Court removed a frustrating barrier for some requesters of police internal affairs records, deciding that criminal justice agencies may not withhold completed IA files from the public simply because the requester has not referenced a “specific, identifiable incident” of alleged misconduct by an officer.
Several Colorado news organizations have asked a Chaffee County District Court judge to reconsider his June 4 order sealing the 130-page arrest warrant affidavit for Barry Morphew, who is accused of murdering his wife, Suzanne Morphew, in 2020.
The 2021 Colorado legislative session produced a mixed bag of good and not-so-good developments for those concerned about government transparency.
One change will impact the release of body-worn and dashboard camera footage, and another might help mitigate the loss of public information caused by the encryption of police radio transmissions. Two additional provisions address public access to records of completed police internal affairs investigations and lists of officers who have credibility issues.
While reporting their recent joint investigative series on state-licensed residential treatment centers, journalists for The Colorado Sun and 9NEWS asked for — but were denied — records showing the number of calls made to the state’s child abuse hotline from three facilities.
A bill that lets public bodies in Colorado disclose just one finalist when choosing a new chief executive officer such as a school superintendent, a university president or a city manager will become law without the signature of Gov. Jared Polis.
Reporter Ashley Franco had to fight for the footage as well as investigative and disciplinary records related to the April 12 incident, both of which were initially withheld by the Fremont School District in response to her Colorado Open Records Act requests.