Actual malice. Autopsy reports. The Columbine killers’ “basement tapes.” Stapleton Development Corp. records. The governor’s cellphone bills. The meetings and records of a county retirement board. Tom Kelley waged court battles over these issues and many more as an attorney for The Denver Post, other news organizations and the Colorado Press Association, steadfastly and expertly defending the public’s right to know and the journalist’s right to report.
Major transparency legislation signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis will let journalists and the public obtain records that show how law enforcement agencies in Colorado police themselves.
New research makes a case for reforming Colorado’s criminal justice records statute to require the public release of files on completed internal affairs investigations concerning law enforcement officers accused of wrongdoing.