Sunday, September 04, 2011

Sunday Morning News Roundup

A few back-burner items worthy of attention on a slow news Sunday

1) Slight Setback in Dan Schroeder's Ongoing Envision Ogden GRAMA Document Request Hunt:
It seems like only yesterday that we were whooping it up, cheering what looked like a near-complete victory in Dan Schroeder's seemingly endless Envision Ogden GRAMA document hunt.

Sadly, we learn this morning morning that the legal battle ain't exactly quite over yet, however. Here's the lowdown in Dan's own words:
Just opened my mail and found notice of intent to appeal from AG [Utah Attorney General]. So I won't be getting the Envision Ogden investigation records any time soon. Also this means I have nothing to lose by filing my own appeal. Here we go again...
As far as we're concerned, the behavior of the AG's office in this matter is entirely inexplicable and thoroughly unconscionable. What's with the government's penchant for secrecy? What is the government trying to hide? How would the average citizen fare in a battle like this, in the absence of Dan's deep knowledge of GRAMA law and near superman tenacity, we ask?

Keep the faith, folks. We'll keep the focus on this story as Dan files his own appeal. If the AG's office doesn't already know they have a real "tiger by the tail," it's certain that they'll soon be finding this out.

2) 9/1/11 Mayoral Candidate Question & Answer Session Videos: We've had email inquiries from several WCF readers who've been wondering when the video recording of last Thursday's Ogden City-sponsored (9/1/11) Mayoral Candidate Question & Answer Session would be available for public viewing; and we're delighted to report that the tapes are now conveniently accessible approximately four times per day on Comcast Cable's public access Channel 17. Click the link below to view the programming schedule:
Not a subscriber to Comcast Cable? That's Okay. These videos are also viewable on the same times and dates indicated in the above schedule, through through Channel 17's online webcast link below:
Unfortunately these videos are not yet available through Ch17's Video on Demand feature; but for now, we'll take what we can get.

3) Another Upcoming Ogden Mayoral Candidate Event: Here's a quick heads up on another Ogden Municipal Election campaign event, via yesterday's Standard-Examiner story:
The SE blurb informs us that only four of the eight mayoral candidates have confirmed their intention to appear at this event; but we're posting this info here (and within our right sidebar election module) for what it's worth.

That's it for now.

Don't let the cat get your tongues.

Update 9/5/11 12:29 a.m.: Lo & Behold, the full Channel 17 September 1, 2011 Ogden Mayoral Candidate Question and Answer Session is now online by demand, via Youtube:


BlameJohnsonNotMe said...

The stalling, silence and absolute lack of motivation by the city and state to investigate alleged illegal campaign contributions which led to a successful city council run by attorney Blain Johnson and possibly others is appalling, regretful and a black eye for the residents of Ogden.  Dan S., please continue to "choose the right" and know you have support from much of the community.  After stepping in dog crap, it takes a long time for the smell to go away. For the perpetrators of this alleged underhanded scheme, lets not allow that stench to go away anytime soon!  They stepped in it and lets provide them with consequences for their actions.

Dan S. said...

Just to clarify, the Attorney General's Office has stated its intent to appeal the decision of the State Records Committee in District Court. That is, they'd rather sue the Records Committee than release the Envision Ogden records as ordered.

Because I'm not completely happy with the State Records Committee decision myself, and given that this case is going to court anyway, I will probably file my own appeal seeking the release of a few of the records that the Committee said could be withheld. My view is that this was an oversight on the Committee's part: They were right about most of the records they said could be withheld, but they applied their reasoning a little too broadly.

rudizink said...

Excuse me, Dan.  I'll admit I haven't done a lick of research on this; but as the holder of a favorable ruling from the State Records Board, aren't you a necessary party to the appeal?  How can a State District Court take jurisdiction of the case on appeal, and rule pro or con on your favorable State Records Board's ruling in your absence?  Inasmuch as you'll be filing your own appeal this question may be only academic, but I'm wondering whether the AG's filing is defective, inasmuch as you're not joined as a co-apellee.

And one more question.  Who represents the State Records Board in District Court?  Surely not the AG's office, who has a clear conflict of interest.  Does the SRB have its own in-house counsel?

Dan S. said...

Rudi, I don't know whether I'm a necessary party to the AG's appeal (which hasn't yet been filed); one would think so, but I can't quote any authority that says so. I do know that the State Records Committee is a necessary party, pursuant to Utah Code 63G-2-404(1)(c). So presumably I could choose not to participate, and then it would just be between the AG office and the Records Committee. And unfortunately, the Records Committee is indeed represented by an attorney (Paul Tonks) from the AG office. While this may seem to be a conflict of interest, the Utah Bar Ethics Advisory Committee has ruled that the AG office can represent different state agencies that are adverse to each other, so long as no individual attorney has a conflict and certain other precautions are taken (

rudizink said...

"And unfortunately, the Records Committee is indeed represented by an attorney (Paul Tonks) from the AG office."


And what comes next if Mr. Tonks successfully defends the SRC's ruling?  He gets demoted to the AG Office's "latrine-cleaning detail," I'd suppose.


Dan S. said...

By the way, the State Records Committee's Decision is now posted on its web site:

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