Regents will fight verdict in open records lawsuit

Board votes 5-4 to appeal ruling in Denver District Court

Note: An earlier version of this story appeared as breaking news on April 10.

The Board of Regents on Friday voted to appeal a court’s decision that the university violated open records law last year by not releasing a list of presidential candidates.

In a special meeting that was held remotely and livestreamed, the board voted 5-4 along party lines to pursue the appeal. A video recording of the meeting is posted here:

“University counsel has recommended we appeal, not because we are opposed to transparency, but because we want to maintain the autonomy of the Board of Regents (in choosing a president),” said Chair Glen Gallegos. He and his four Republican colleagues voted in favor of appealing; the four Democrats voted against it.

“I believe the court’s decision is in the best interest of the people of Colorado,” said Vice Chair Irene Griego, stressing a desire for governmental transparency.

The March ruling by Denver District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones stated that the board failed to show cause that it properly denied the (Boulder) Daily Camera’s requests, via the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), for the names and application materials of finalists for CU president. The Camera’s lawsuit against CU was filed last September.

Regent Heidi Ganahl proposed early in the meeting that the board request a delay in deciding on an appeal because of more pressing concerns over the coronavirus. That motion failed 6-3.