Ethics Watch in the News
June 26, 2015

Assessment records of certain Elbert Co. officials hidden for ‘safety’ reasons, assessor says

Jeff Roberts (CFOIC) - Real estate records, with few exceptions, are public in Colorado. Want to know the assessed value of your neighbor’s property? In most counties you can look it up online, no matter who your neighbor happens to be. But in Elbert County, southeast of Denver, the assessment records of certain elected officials - including Assessor Billie Mills - are hidden from public view.

But in Elbert County, southeast of Denver, the assessment records of certain elected officials – including Assessor Billie Mills – are hidden from public view.
You can’t find them on the county’s website. And when the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition showed up in person at the assessor’s office in Kiowa, we were told we couldn’t see the information without first getting permission from the elected official whose records have been flagged as confidential.
“It’s not a matter of hiding the value,” Mills told the CFOIC. “I know that’s what everyone is saying, but it’s a safety thing. But in Elbert County, southeast of Denver, the assessment records of certain elected officials – including Assessor Billie Mills – are hidden from public view.

You can’t find them on the county’s website. And when the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition showed up in person at the assessor’s office in Kiowa, we were told we couldn’t see the information without first getting permission from the elected official whose records have been flagged as confidential.  “It’s not a matter of hiding the value,” Mills told the CFOIC. “I know that’s what everyone is saying, but it’s a safety thing.”

 

Boondoggled

Eric Ethington (SLC Weekly) - It's been three years since Utah state Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, who heads the American Lands Council (ALC), convinced his fellow lawmakers to pass a bill forcing the U.S. government to turn over control of federal public lands to the state of Utah. Read More ›

Taking on Ivory: Attorneys General asked to investigate lands transfer leader

Alex Sakariassen (Missoula Independent) - Opposition to the transfer of public lands movement has grown increasingly vocal throughout the West over the past year. But last week marked the first direct challenge to the movement's most prominent leader, Utah state Rep. Ken Ivory. Read More ›

Will Elbert County See Rowland Held Accountable?

Rick Brown (Prairie Times) - Public corruption isn’t confined to bribery. It also arises when elected officials use their offices to benefit themselves. This is a story about why Elbert County Commissioner Robert Rowland has been charged with doing just that. Read More ›

Land sakes - complaints against Rep. Ken Ivory keep piling up

Paul Rolly (Salt Lake Tribune) - Ivory's ALC has until week's end to respond to a complaint filed with the Colorado secretary of state by the nonprofit watchdog group Colorado Ethics Watch. Read More ›

Colorado Supreme Court decision a “mixed bag” for requesters of public records

Jeff Roberts (CFOIC) - In a ruling that could have implications for a new preemptive lawsuit filed by the state against Colorado Ethics Watch, the Colorado Supreme Court held Tuesday that successfully challenging a denial of public records entitles you to attorney fees even if it was the records custodian who initiated the legal action. Read More ›

Ethics complaint against Rowland dismissed

Rick Gustafson (Elbert County News) - The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission dismissed an ethics complaint against Elbert County Commissioner Robert Rowland at its monthly meeting on May 11. Read More ›

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