Monday, November 08, 2010

The Ogden Sierra Club Gets a Third Straight Court Victory in the Now Three-year Old "Gondola GRAMA Document Production Case" - Updated

A Weber County Forum Tip O' The Hat to The Ogden Sierra Club for their dogged persistence in re this matter

Attention Weber County Forum readers! here's the latest in the story about The Ogden Sierra Club's original 2007 Ogden GRAMA request case, which has now been lingering in the Utah Courts, thanks to Godfrey Administration foot-dragging, for over three years. The Ogden Sierra Club has nevetheless again gained another decisive court victory over the Godfrey Administration, however. Read the Ogden Sierra Club's latest explanatory press release:
Ogden Sierra Club October 25, 2010 Press Release
As regular Weber County Forum readers will recall, the first emails pried out from the Godfrey adminstration under a GRAMA request court order were damning as hell, as they revealed a veritable UTA-Boss Godfrey Administration conspiracy to conceal from the Council a Federal Transportation Agency grant, and mendaciously divert it, without the Council's knowledge, to a Godfrey Administration-preferred Chris Peterson "Gondola Engineering study."
Boss Godfrey Adminstration e-mail revelations
We'll be standing by with abated breath, WCF readers, to find out what other damning evidence the Godfrey administration is yet keeping under wraps, now that the Ogden Sierra Club has obtained yet a third unequivocal document production court order, while the Little Twerp has dragged his scurvy ass at great taxpayer legal expense to conceal his administration's obviously bad conduct in re this matter.

Update 11/10/10 6:15 a.m.: Per Dan S... "It took a while, but it was worth the wait. Here's Tim Gurrister's writeup in the Standard-Examiner":
Sierra Club still pushing Ogden for gondola plan documents


blackrulon said...

It appears that Matthew Godfrey and John Patterson are lying underhanded deceitful people, John Arrington is simply incompetent. It was interesting to note that Godfrey was attempting to take care of his pal Gadi Leshem.

Anonymous said...

Eventually, Boss Godfrey is going to have to pay back Chris Peterson. Contributions are not free, and Matt was unable to make it happen.
I am sure CP blames Bumbling Matt for "Peterson's Folly".

Marv said...

What are these withheld records about and why is the city so reluctant to cough them up?

what will it cost us said...

Another trip to Paris for the Mayor, again what did that accomplish for the city? How many boondoggeles will he go on on the taxpayers dime.

I can't believe the incompetence of the business development department, they all need to go or have their high pay cut in half.

Dan S. said...

Marv: We really don't know what's in the withheld documents. It could be some stuff that's pretty embarrassing, or even incriminating. Or they might have withheld the records just because they thought they could get away with it, and they wanted to flex their muscles and show us who's boss. Even in the second case, the lawsuit would be worthwhile to us just to set a good precedent.

Dawn said...

Way to go, Dan. I'm glad somebody in Ogden is going after this information and keeping the City honest. My question is, how do you know if the City is releasing all the documents requested? Can't the Mayor, although exceptionally trustworthy, choose on his own not to release something - say from his own email account?

Shredmethis said...

Yowzah! those email conversations are startling at the least....and thats just the tip of multiple icebergs I would bet....ahh the days of Scott B...

Bee in my Bonnet said...

aye-yi-yi !!!

what a cluster-flack!!!

these people are professionals? with degrees and credentials? seems the only ones on top of their game are one or two in the UTA line-up.

UTA: we cannot pay this
JP,MG,JA, please help us get this paid

UTA: we cannot pay this
JP,MG,JA, please, please, please help us get this paid ... this Lewis Lady needs to be paid even though we don't have a contract or procurement file

UTA: we cannot pay this
JP,MG,JA, OK - the mayor will write a memo arbitrarily waiving the requirement for a procurement file; now please, please, please help us get this paid ! It's been months

UTA: we cannot pay this!

Dan S. said...

Dawn: Good question. Originally they released a bunch of documents (some of which were pretty embarrassing, as Bee has reminded us), but withheld an undisclosed number of additional documents. We had to take them to court just to obtain a list of what they were withholding. When we got the list, we noticed some conspicuous omissions--mostly cases where they had given us an email but not its attachment. We had to take Ogden to court again to get them to explain these omissions, some of which they still claim to be unable to find. A couple of our interrogatories try to pin them down further about this.

But it's still possible that there are documents we don't know about that are being withheld. I doubt that the city attorney's office knows of any such documents, but who knows what the mayor and CAO and other higher-ups might be withholding even from the city attorney? If they were caught doing that there would be criminal penalties, but I have no idea how they'd get caught.

What is a Shreve? said...

Today there was a Paper Shredder truck out at NewCastle Mortgage (Steve Conlins business) and it was there a long while.
Coincidence? I think not.

Dan S. said...

It took a while, but it was worth the wait:

Here's Tim Gurrister's writeup in the Standard-Examiner.

Dan S. said...

Here's a copy of the comment that I just posted on the S-E site:

Mr. Preston is correct to point out that GRAMA allows the government to withhold certain records under claims of attorney-client privilege, or because they are drafts. But let's look at the details.

Attorney-client privilege: Ogden is claiming this protection for only four of the 26 documents still being withheld. These are the 4 on which we believe that they are most likely to prevail in court, although a judge could still order that they be released if the public interest in disclosure outweighs the government's interest in secrecy.

Drafts: GRAMA doesn't protect all "draft" documents. A "draft" must be disclosed when it contains empirical data, or when action has already been taken on its basis, or when it has already been circulated to third parties outside the government. We believe that all the documents currently being withheld as "drafts" fall under one of these exceptions.

Regarding the gondola project itself: Although it seems to be dormant, I very much doubt that it is dead. Mr. Peterson has lately been acquiring additional property in the foothills, adjacent to the mountain property that he already owns. The city's new water projects will make it much easier to develop this foothill property. Mr. Peterson has also continued to cut "trails" through the trees on his property, stopping just short of the level of activity that would require permits from the county and the state.

Biker Babe said...

Eheu, litteras istas reperire non possum

(honest, we really cannot find those documents)



David James said...

Does anyone have a map of which we could view online, including Forest Service and Private Property Boundaries in the foothill area?

map lover said...

David James, you can start here:

Nicely Dpne said...

you can also pop onto Weber County's website...go to interactive maps, Geogizmo and look at all kinds of layers including property boundaries, taxes and ownership

ancient one said...

Biker Babe

another appropriate (if less learned) quotation.

Itis apis spotanda bigone. ("it is a piss pot and a big one")

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