The city of Aurora’s “blanket policy” of denying open records requests for police internal affairs files, apparently without regard to the facts and circumstances of each request, violates Colorado’s criminal justice records law, a lawsuit alleges.
Colorado Open Records Act
When a charter school board in Pagosa Springs agreed last month to release the audio recording of a closed-door meeting, it was the second time in less than two years that the local newspaper successfully challenged an apparent violation of the Colorado Open Meetings Law (COML) – without going to court.
It was an eye-opening story for our viewers: A FOX31 Problem Solvers investigation found that the Colorado Division of Gaming has been charging casino customers with crimes for playing very small credits left on slot machines. But even more startling was how much money the Gilpin County court system wanted to charge for providing open records on such cases.
The terms of a settlement agreement between two liquor retailers embroiled in an open-records dispute won’t be disclosed, but the owner of Hazel’s Beverage World in Boulder said he’s “extremely pleased” by the outcome.
The Colorado Open Records Act defines public records to include “all writings made, maintained, or kept” by government or agency. But are records related to a government-issued cellphone disclosable under CORA if the city has access to them but doesn’t maintain them?
Wheat Ridge liquor retailer Applejack Wine & Spirits and the owner of Hazel’s Beverage World in Boulder have settled their open-records dispute, according to court documents, but the settlement remains confidential for now.
Journalists say Senate Bill 17-040 generally seems to be working as intended, even if some records custodians have to be reminded about the law change and some have taken much longer than three working days to fill requests. The sample size is small, but early tests of the new law are encouraging.
Colorado Ethics Watch is closing its doors after 11 years of helping Coloradans hold public officials accountable and winning some significant battles for government transparency in the state legislature and in court.
Wheat Ridge has joined a liquor retailer’s legal effort to stop the owner of another liquor store from sharing information the city provided to him in response to a public records request.
Can documents provided in response to a public records request be clawed back and their use restricted if they may have been disclosed by mistake? That question is central to a court fight involving two Colorado liquor stores, Applejack Wine & Spirits in Wheat Ridge and Hazel’s Beverage World in Boulder.