Details of Influential Committee Hidden
An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, January 7, 2021 before Denver District Court Judge Michael Vallejos concerning denial of records by the Mayor's office regarding the influential Group Living Advisory Committee (GLAC).
A Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request was submitted to Community Planning and Development (CPD) in August 2020 for details of the formation of the 48-member committee who crafted the massive 216-page Group Living Amendment. Responsive documents pointed to the Mayor's office. A subsequent CORA request to the Mayor was denied. The Mayor's spokesman stated that all records related to GLAC are protected by a deliberative process privilege – shielded from public accountability and public scrutiny because public knowledge “could stymie frank and open discussions if disclosed.”
In a Complaint filed in December, seasoned CORA attorneys, Robert Gunning and Eric Maxfield, represented the requestor and challenged the Mayor's position:
“We are having a hard time understanding how disclosure of the records requested by Ms. Sebern, showing how this committee was formed, would cause ‘substantial injury to the public interest.’ From the boilerplate language in the August 6 response, it is unclear how disclosure of the requested information would discourage frank discussion in the future. Rather, this appears to be precisely the type of circumstance contemplated by the drafters of subsection (3)(a)(XIII) favoring the beneficial effects of public scrutiny upon the quality of governmental decision-making and public confidence therein.”
Read more HERE.