Friday, August 12, 2011

Salt Lake Tribune: Ogden Watchdog Scores a Win in Envision Ogden Probe

Perhaps Dan S. will chime in here some time soon and mercifully provide the whole lowdown on his future tactics in re this matter

In a comment beneath Wednesday's WCF article, which touched upon the Envision Ogden scandal and the bogus shadow entity Friends of Utah Real Esate (FNURE), Dan Schroeder mentioned that he'd be appearing before the State Records Board for a Thursday hearing:
But we may soon learn more about FNURE. Tomorrow I will appear before the State Records Committee to argue for the release of the last of the records of the Attorney General's investigation into Envision Ogden and FNURE. Among those records should be the canceled checks from the former to the latter. The signatures on the backs of those canceled checks should tell us who controlled FNURE. Will the committee order the release of these records? I don't know.
Sure enough, the Salt Lake Tribune carries a Cathy McKitrick story this morning, reporting on the result of yesterday's hearing, in which Dr. Schroeder reportedly "scored a weak win... in his fight to obtain records from the state Attorney General’s office regarding a closed investigation into Envision Ogden":
Unfortunately, The Records Board didn't order production of everything that Dan had asked for; the Board instead specifically declined to order release of the cancelled check(s) which might have revealed the signatures of the mysterious persons behind the bogus FNURE entity. So it's now unclear whether this is the end of the road for Dan's GRAMA document discovery effort, or whether his next stop will be the local Utah District Courthouse. In that connection however, Professor Schroeder does provide a comment beneath this morning's Trib story which is quite tantalizing:
The hearing was fascinating. The members of the State Records Committee are sharp, and they know GRAMA law far better than the assistant attorney general who argued for withholding the records. The committee correctly rejected every one of his arguments for secrecy. But then, during their deliberations, they found other GRAMA provisions that were more applicable to some of the records. Unfortunately, by then it was too late for me to respond.

Where we disagree is over the scope of the privacy protections for the financial records. I would agree that many parts of these records should be redacted to protect the privacy of Envision Ogden's small donors (such as those who bought tickets to the Salomon Center grand opening). But the large checks from Envision Ogden to FNURE should be released, because GRAMA's privacy provisions apply only to individuals (not organizations or business entities), and federal tax law requires that 527 organizations disclose the recipients of large expenditures. I suspect that if the committee had taken five more minutes to deliberate this issue, they would have realized their error. But they were already way over their allotted time.
Knowing Dan's history of tenacity, particularly with regard to the Envision Ogden matter, we're betting that Dan will soon be off to the local Utah District Courthouse to successfully seek further legal relief.

But with a little luck, and for the time being at least, we're keeping our fingers crossed that Dan will chime in within the lower comments section to provide the lowdown on his future tactics in this matter.

Suffice it to say we'll be standing by for additional Dan S. comments, regarding this legal situation.

Update 9/5/11 12:45 p.m.: Here's the text of the State Records Committee's August 22, 2011 written decision:


Dan S. said...

It's unlikely that I'll take the Records Committee to court. Of course, it's also possible that the AG will take the case to court.

Let's not overlook that this process has already shed quite a bit of light on the investigation. Most importantly, we know all the things the AG didn't do. They never questioned Godfrey or Johnson or Eccles or most of the others who were involved with Envision Ogden. They never discovered any fact that contradicted the allegations made by Rep. Hansen or myself. They merely dragged the investigation out as long as they could, then decided that the mayor is above the law so they wouldn't prosecute.

rudizink said...

It's unlikely that I'll take the Records Committee to court. Of course,
it's also possible that the AG will take the case to court.


You have these bastards "on the ropes" and you're bailing out?


rudizink said...

Show some mercy, Rudi?  What we Mormon bastards in Utah always do is to always wear down our political opponents (like you)  and also and otherwise own all Important Utah Newspapers.Time for a little bit more "True Grit," methinks!No?

Warren said...

Show some mercy, Rudi.  What we Mormon evangicals  in Utah always do is to always try to wear down our political opponents (like you)  and also and to otherwise own all Important Utah Newspapers (and to have sex with underage girls, of course.)

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