A lawsuit filed by The Gazette, reporter Chris Osher and The Invisible Institute, a Chicago-based journalism nonprofit, seeks the public disclosure of Colorado’s database of certified law enforcement officers.
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
A Colorado Court of Appeals ruling in the Boulder Daily Camera’s lawsuit against the University of Colorado regents sets “a dangerous precedent that deprives the public of any meaningful oversight and input into the selection process of a public body’s chief executive,” says a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition and 12 other organizations.
COVID-19 touched nearly every aspect of our lives in 2020 so of course it affected government transparency and public access to courts in Colorado.
Rachael Johnson was looking for a way to combine her career experiences as a journalist and a lawyer. Starting Sept. 14, she’ll get that opportunity in her home state of Colorado as a Local Legal Initiative attorney for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
One positive development in the current historical moment is the growing awareness and recognition – by citizens, legislators, governors, mayors, and even police chiefs – that there can be little or no public trust, a necessary foundation of effective law enforcement, without both accountability and transparency.
Some government entities in Colorado are delaying responses to public records requests because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the disruption of day-to-day transparency obligations so far doesn’t seem as severe here as in other parts of the country.
The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition joined 131 other transparency-minded organizations in urging state, local and tribal governments across the United States “to recommit to, and not retrench from, their duty to include the public in the policy-making process, including policies relating to COVID-19 as well as the routine ongoing functions of governance.”
News organizations in Colorado will soon get some extra legal firepower to fight wrongful denials of access to government records and proceedings.
The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition joined other organizations in urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit to affirm the public’s First Amendment right to record police.
A judge has ordered a Texas-based oil and gas company to pay attorney fees to a Paonia environmental activist whom it sued for libel after he posted a critical comment on the website of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.