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Court Ruling Vindicates Rights of Press and Public to Transparency and Accountability in University of Colorado Presidential Hiring Process

Prairie Mountain Publishing Co., LLP d/b/a Daily Camera v. University of Colorado Board of Regents, Denver District Court Case No. 19CV33759

Maxfield Gunning, LLP strongly supports a free and independent press that participates in our democracy by informing the public and holding public institutions accountable. We proudly represent the Boulder Daily Camera in its effort to obtain the names and application materials of the finalists for the 2019 University of Colorado President position.  The Daily Camera submitted Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requests for this information in the summer of 2019.  Following the Board of Regents’ denial of the requests, Maxfield Gunning, LLP filed a Complaint and Application for Show Cause Order with the Denver District Court on behalf of the Daily Camera.  This Complaint alleged that Colorado’s sunshine laws require the Board of Regents to produce the names and application materials of the six individuals interviewed by the Board of Regents.  The Daily Camera alleged that the Board of Regents violated CORA when it denied the requests on the grounds that there was only one finalist for the position.   https://www.dailycamera.com/camera-sues-cu-regents-over-presidential-search-transparency

Daily Camera argues in Denver District Court:  https://www.dailycamera.com/lawyers-for-camera-cu-argue-statutory-meaning-of-finalist-in-wednesday-hearing

February 12 CFOIC Article:  https://coloradofoic.org/an-early-march-decision-is-expected-in-the-daily-cameras-lawsuit-challenging-cus-presidential-search/

On March 6, 2020, Judge A. Bruce Jones found in favor of the Daily Camera,  holding that the Board of Regents violated CORA when it denied the Daily Camera’s requests.  See the 3/6/20 Order here.  Judge Jones concluded that the interpretation advanced by the Daily Camera was consistent with the letter and spirit of the sunshine law statutes, along with the intent of the legislators who debated and passed the legislation.  The Board of Regents is required to produce the names and application materials of the other finalists, and to pay the Daily Camera’s reasonable attorney fees and costs.

March 6 Daily Camera Article: https://www.dailycamera.com/judge-rules-in-cameras-favor-that-cu-system-violated-open-records-law

March 6 CFOIC Article: https://coloradofoic.org/judge-cu-regents-violated-cora-names-and-applications-of-presidency-finalists-must-be-disclosed/

This ruling vindicates the public’s right to learn the identity of finalists for university leadership positions and furthers government transparency.

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