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Court secrecy, a handcuffed journalist, ‘Access Denied’: CFOIC’s year-in-review 2018

Two words come to mind when looking back at 2018’s government transparency highlights and lowlights in Colorado. Judicial secrecy. In June, the Colorado Supreme Court baffled many legal...

Elbert Co. still hasn’t released minutes of ‘Jerry Springer-like’ commission meeting...

Six months after a controversial, contentious meeting of the Elbert County Commission, county residents are still waiting to read the meeting minutes.

Did a Lakewood city councilor violate Sunshine Law?

Colorado’s Sunshine Law is supposed to prevent more than two members of a local public body, such as a city council, from exchanging thoughts...

Ethics panel hands over notes from closed meetings to judge for...

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.

Judge: Colorado’s top ethics panel broke open meetings law

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.

Redacted recordings of Colorado ethics commission closed meetings

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...

State’s top ethics panel agrees during secret enclave: We’re no star...

No group empowered to pass judgment wants to think of itself as a "star chamber," least of all the Colorado panel that, until recently,...

Recordings: Ethics panel deliberated, reached decisions in secret meetings

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.

Anatomy of a decision: Ethics panel reaches agreement in secret meeting

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.

Ethics panel agrees to release recordings of secret meetings

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.