It is a bill good-government activists were supposed to get behind enthusiastically. Then they read it. Now they now decry it as being ambiguously worded and ripe for abuse.
Posts Tagged Colorado Open Records Act
In the weeks since the Colorado legislative session ended, calls for Gov. John Hickenlooper to veto House Bill 1036 have come from the political left, right and center, from government watchdog organizations, citizen rights and tax reform activists and from representatives of the sovereign Ute Mountain Ute tribe in southwest Colorado. Whatever happens by next Friday, when the deadline to sign the bill arrives, wrangling over its contents and legitimacy will continue indefinitely.
The bill was never really debated in the Senate where it was introduced, then it was tacked on to a House bill amid the blizzard of activity that marked the last days of the Colorado legislative session. Government watchdog and elections groups on the right and left are now asking Gov. John Hickenlooper to veto it, arguing the bill would deny citizens the right to inspect voter ballots and “gut” the state’s Open Records Act.
Thirty-nine states provided information requested by the New York Times as part of its series on Clean Water Act violations called “Toxic Waters: A series about the worsening pollution in American water and regulators’ response.” Colorado wasn’t one of…
The state’s top ethics panel has turned over to the Denver District Court copies of all the notes and other records made during five secret meetings a judge said were held in violation of Colorado Open Meetings Law. The judge plans to review the notes and decide whether they should be made public in response to an open records request and lawsuit filed by The Colorado Independent.
DENVER — The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission violated the state’s Open Meetings Law when it failed to convene a dozen closed-door meetings held earlier this year according to strict legal requirements, a Denver District Court judge has ruled. Because the ethics panel didn’t follow the law, the court ordered the state’s top ethics panel to “immediately” release all records of any improperly closed meeting, even those the commission claims are protected by attorney-client privilege.
Below are the redacted recordings of seven closed-door meetings released by the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission following an open records request by The Colorado Independent that claimed the panel illegally met in secret a dozen times between January and May.…
No group empowered to pass judgment wants to think of itself as a “star chamber,” least of all the Colorado panel that, until recently, regularly met for hours on end in secret to formulate ethical decrees. At least that’s…
The state’s top ethics panel routinely deliberated in private only to emerge with positions ready for adoption in swift, unanimous public votes, audio recordings of the closed-door meetings reveal. The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission also discussed topics in executive session it hadn’t described in detail — or at all, in some cases — as state law requires.
What does it look like when a government body debates and makes decisions in a closed-door executive session? Pretty much the same as it would in public — which the law requires — except that only the meeting’s participants get to see what went into the decision.