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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.
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.
DENVER — Colorado’s top ethics panel agreed Friday to release unedited audio recordings of two secret meetings and plans to turn over redacted recordings of five additional closed-door meetings conducted earlier this year. The announcement came during a hearing in Denver District Court on a lawsuit filed by The Colorado Independent alleging the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission illegally met behind closed doors a dozen times between January and May.
A Larimer County judge this afternoon ordered the Colorado State University Board of Governors to make public further recordings of a closed-door session last month during which it secretly interviewed candidates for the university's new chancellorship and decided to select its vice chairman Joe Blake as sole finalist for the position. Judge Stephen Schapanski's ruling comes in a case brought by The Colorado Independent, the Fort Collins' Coloradoan and the Pueblo Chieftain, which argued the university violated state open meetings laws in its search for a chancellor.
Colorado State University lawyers are attempting to regain control of recordings of a CSU board meeting held in secret last month where members decided to select their own vice chairman, Joe Blake, as sole finalist for the new university chancellorship. CSU is being sued by The Colorado Independent, the Fort Collins Coloradoan and Pubelo Chieftain for violating state open-meeting laws. Larimer County judge Stephen Schapanski earlier ordered CSU to turn over the meeting recordings so that he could review them in chambers to determine, in part, how the court should proceed.
In papers submitted to a Larimer court last night, Colorado State University attorneys argue that CSU board members did not break state transparency laws when they voted in private to make board Vice Chair Joe Blake CSU chancellor because Blake had recused himself as Vice Chair roughly a week before the vote.
Three Colorado watchdog groups have joined together to demand Colorado State University rescind its decision to hire Denver Chamber of Commerce President Joe Blake as the university's new standalone chancellor.
The Coloradoan today reports more evidence that the Colorado State University System board and Joe Blake likely violated state laws by meeting secretly to discuss his application for the chancellorship. Blake formally submitted his application for the position the same day of a closed April 29 meeting with the head of the CSU governing board. Blake, then-vice chair of the board, was named sole finalist for the chancellor position by the board a week later.
TCI's own Ernest Luning will appear on the Jay Marvin Show today at 9:00 a.m. MDT to discuss our on-going investigation of the Colorado Independent Ethics Commission and its penchant for flouting Open Meetings Law. Join the AM 760 livestream at the "Listen Up" link. Bonus track: The Coloradoan's Bob Moore is chatting now about the open meetings lawsuit filed by the Fort Collins-based paper, the Pueblo Chieftain and the Colorado Independent last week against the Colorado State University Board of Governors. We have requested a Larimer County judge review recordings of board meetings to determine whether violations occurred during its secretive, closed-door selection of the CSU system chancellor.
The Colorado Independent has joined the Fort Collins-based Coloradoan and the Pueblo Chieftain newspapers in a lawsuit against the Colorado State University System Board of Governors for alleged repeated violations of Open Meetings Law during its secretive, closed-door selection of a new system chancellor.