Highlights from the blog and news feed
July 27, 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.
State Patrol forces Colorado Springs man to drive to Lakewood to view, but not copy, reports
Colorado Springs Independent: Dan Wagman of Colorado Springs finally gained access to the records he requested, but he wasn’t given copies. Rather, he was forced to drive to the State Patrol’s Lakewood headquarters, where he was charged an hourly fee for an agency worker to babysit him while he inspected the records.
Judge: Colorado law allows publication of photos of juveniles charged with serious felonies
9NEWS (Denver): A judge ordered the release of an arrest affidavit in the case of a teenager charged with shooting his brother after 9NEWS requested a review of a court order that the teen's photo, which had been released by the Aurora Police Department, not be published.
Westminster resident who fought open-records battle is Washington Times' 'unsung hero'
The Washington Times (Washington, D.C.): In February 2015, Marilyn Flachman filed a records request for salaries of teachers, administrators and other school employees, and she assumed a spreadsheet would appear in her email in box within days. What she got was a five-month battle, a request for thousands of dollars and, with the help of an attorney who agreed to work for free, a brick of paper that she struggled to wheel out of her attorney’s office.
CU alum's startup wants to show you where your tax dollars are going
Daily Camera (Boulder): University of Colorado alum Chris Bullock started ClearGov, a fiscal transparency database that uses infographics to present a town’s revenue and expenditure data — down to the vendor and equipment costs for individual departments.
Opinion: Bring more financial transparency to schools
The Pueblo Chieftain: Taxpayers, parents and policymakers deserve to know how money is being used in Colorado schools — and how much of that money is making its way to classrooms. HB 1036 and HB 1292 were a step in the right direction, but comparison remains difficult and transparency remains minimal under those bills’ requirements.
Doctors' lawsuit: Colorado's 'secret' marijuana policy violated Sunshine Law
Courthouse News Service: Four doctors sued the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, saying Colorado “illegally adopted a secret policy” limiting the number of marijuana plants a doctor can prescribe.
CU Boulder student leaders hope to usher in new era of transparency
Daily Camera (Boulder): The new student body presidents at the University of Colorado have moved on from this spring’s pizza and cookie cake bribery scandal and are hoping to usher in a new era of transparency and involvement in student government on the Boulder campus.
Colorado Springs police withhold report on cop who cost taxpayers $100,000 in lawsuit settlement
Colorado Springs Independent: Any hope of finding out more about the internal investigation of an officer who bashed a woman’s head into the floor went out the window when the Colorado Springs Police Department ruled that releasing those records to the Independent “is contrary to the public interest.”
Editorial: CMC's board shouldn't muzzle its members
Post-Independent (Glenwood Springs): It is wrong and wrongheaded for Colorado Mountain College trustees to be limited in what they can tell their constituents about their work and their views. So the very idea of censuring an elected official for sharing with the public opinions on issues before the board is jaw-droppingly troubling.
Loveland City Council considers changes to public comment policy
Reporter-Herald (Loveland): Local government officials often rely on public comment in meetings to find out what their constituents think. But when elected leaders feel comments have been taken too far, they have to look for ways to rein them in without appearing to stifle public input.
Editorial: Lack of answers in Colorado Supreme Court's firing of judge unacceptable
The Denver Post: The remarkable removal of a judge from a death-penalty appeal shortly before he was set to make a significant ruling demands public explanation. Lawyers for convicted murderer and death-row inmate Sir Mario Owens are right about that, whatever the value of the remaining claims they made in a legal filing last week with the state Supreme Court.
Colorado law agencies inconsistent in naming officers involved in shootings
The Gazette (Colorado Springs): When an alleged criminal kills a citizen, the public is informed almost immediately, but when police kill an alleged criminal, Colorado agencies are inconsistent about the information they provide.
Independent Ethics Commission shuts down livestream of meeting
The Colorado Independent: The conflict over a lack of transparency at Colorado’s Independent Ethics Commission came to a head when Colorado Ethics Watch set up a live video feed to allow the public, at least in Denver, to watch and listen to the commission’s meeting.
Lawsuit ruling: City of Holyoke did not violate Open Meetings Law
The Holyoke Enterprise: A district court judge ruled that the city of Holyoke was not in violation of the Colorado Open Meetings Law in three separate violations cited in a lawsuit brought by Rupert and Claire O’Neal.
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