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Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition

Highlights from the blog and news feed
May 5, 2016
Newsletter of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, a nonpartisan alliance of journalists, civic organizations and engaged citizens dedicated to ensuring the transparency of state and local governments in Colorado by promoting freedom of the press, open courts and open access to government records and meetings.
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Family's lawsuit: Jeffco charter school board broke Sunshine Law

A Jefferson County charter school violated Colorado’s Sunshine Law and retaliated against a family when the parents asked questions about their daughters’ education, a lawsuit claims.

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CFOIC wins SPJ's 'Top of the Rockies' First Amendment and blogging awards

The Society of Professional Journalists’ Colorado chapter honored Jeff Roberts, executive director of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition, with its 2015 First Amendment award. Roberts also won a first-place award for blogging in SPJ’s four-state “Top of the Rockies” contest, which honors journalists in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

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Amended bill requires public disclosures for nonprofits serving people with disabilities

Although nonprofits serving people with disabilities in Colorado won’t be subject to the state’s open-records law, it appears they will be required to provide the public with certain financial information and other documents.

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House votes for disclosure of independent spending on ads touting political parties

The Colorado House voted to require independent groups or individuals to disclose expenditures when they buy ads, billboards and mailings that mention only political parties

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House committee votes to open records on wage-law violations

Information on employers who violate wage laws in Colorado shouldn’t be considered confidential “trade secrets,” a panel of state lawmakers decided.

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Listen: CFOIC's Roberts discusses wage-theft transparency on CPR's 'Colorado Matters'

From Colorado Public Radio: If an employer pays below an agreed-upon rate, requires an employee to work overtime without pay or pays below the minimum wage in Colorado, workers and consumers probably won’t find out. That’s because of a 100-year-old law that makes it illegal to disclose wage law violations, even if companies are fined by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, because disclosing the violation may reveal a “trade secret.” A bill currently making its way through the statehouse would change that.

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Colorado Springs won't release emails showing how proposed Broadmoor land swap evolved

From the Colorado Springs Independent: It’s impossible to know how negotiations commenced over the City of Colorado Springs’ proposed land swap with The Broadmoor: The city refuses to release any written communications with the resort that took place prior to Dec. 29, 2015. The Independent’s April 12 public records request sought all correspondence between the two parties since the genesis of the trade.

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

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.

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Adams County to 9NEWS: Sue us for requested records

From 9NEWS (Denver): Adams County paid a quarter of a million dollars of taxpayer money to three employees in 2014 and won’t release the documents that would explain why — even after the employees involved gave the county permission to do so.

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Editorial: Board puts out fire by releasing recording

From The Pagosa Springs Sun: Elected officials cannot lay the groundwork for policy, positions and regulations out of public view. It is legislative policy that formation of public policy is public business and may not be conducted in secret.

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Pagosa fire board releases executive session recording

From The Pagosa Springs Sun: During a special meeting, the Pagosa Fire Protection District (PFPD) made a decision to release an executive session recording to SUN staff after a violation of Colorado Open Meetings Law.

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Editorial: Fickle implementation of open records law

From the Post Independent (Glenwood Springs): Colorado’s open records laws are weak, frustrating and, now we know, fickle.

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Land swap opponents sue city of Colorado Springs, alleging open-records violation

From (Colorado Springs): An attorney representing a group opposed to a land swap between the city of Colorado Springs and the Broadmoor is suing, accusing the city of violating the Colorado Open Records Act request.

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High Plains Library District updates executive session policy after illegal meeting

From The Greeley Tribune: High Plains Library District officials properly entered a closed-to-the-public meeting, after learning they had done so illegally a few weeks ago.

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Hospital workers caught stealing narcotics often not reported to police or federal authorities

From The Denver Post: In Colorado, hospital workers who get caught stealing powerful narcotics often aren’t reported to police or to federal authorities. Unless the state takes formal action against them, their names don’t show up on licensing disciplinary lists. There is little to keep a small but dangerous number of doctors, nurses and surgical technologists from moving from hospital to hospital, taking with them their addictions and risks to patients.

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Governor's office brushes off transparency questions

From The Complete Colorado: Governor Hickenlooper’s office gave no serious or meaningful answer to transparency questions posed by Complete Colorado in follow-up to an exclusive report in which a former state employee says he was ordered to delete emails.

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Adams County pays thousands to former employees, won't say why

From 9NEWS (Denver):Adams County commissioners paid out nearly a quarter million dollars of taxpayer money to three former employees of the district attorney’s office, but all those publicly-elected officials refuse to provide 9NEWS with documents that would explain why the payouts were necessary.

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Aurora theater shooting trial cost at least $3 million; total tab may never be known

From The Denver Post: Jailing, evaluating and prosecuting the man who committed the Aurora movie theater shooting cost taxpayers at least $3 million, but the final expense of one of the mostly closely watched court cases in Colorado history may never be known.

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Read about Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition in Columbia Journalism Review
The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition's efforts to defend the FOI rights of Coloradans rely on membership dues, grants and gifts. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation or becoming a member. Thank you!
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