The Denver Post

Daily Camera seeks a review of Open Records Act ruling

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Boulder’s Daily Camera newspaper is seeking a review of a district court ruling that found that University of Colorado regents could refuse to disclose the names and applicatio­ns of finalists for the university president’s job in 2019.

Thursday’s petition asks the state Supreme Court to determine who is considered a finalist for chief executive jobs not only at the university but at other state and local government entities under the Colorado Open Records Act. The act requires that a finalist’s identity must be publicly disclosed at least 14 days before a job offer is made. It also allows public access to records submitted by finalists.

The Colorado Freedom of Informatio­n Coalition reported on the newspaper’s appeal.

The Daily Camera sued in 2019, seeking the names of six finalists interviewe­d by regents in CU’s search for a new system president. Mark Kennedy, a former president of the University of North Dakota who got the job, was the only candidate publicly identified by the university.

In 2020, a Denver District Court judge ruled in favor of the Daily Camera. That finding was overturned in March by a Court of Appeals panel that found government­al entities can determine who is a “finalist.”

A dissenting judge wrote that the opinion allows the university and other entities to “manipulate their procedures to shield informatio­n from disclosure in spite of the policies served by CORA” and Colorado’s Open Meetings Law.

The Daily Camera argues that the opinion “will have a huge adverse impact on the transparen­cy of hiring processes for” university presidents, school superinten­dents, police chiefs, city managers, county administra­tors and other chief executive officer positions statewide.

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