Transparency News 8/10/18



August 10, 2018


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state & local news stories


Attorneys for a Poquoson police officer and a woman who sued him for excessive force have settled the case — but officials are refusing to say how much taxpayers will dish out. The deal — reached Wednesday at a settlement conference with U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert J. Krask — avoids a jury trial that was expected to take place later this month. The Daily Press filed a Freedom of Information Act request on Thursday for records of the dollar amount paid — or to be paid — to settle the case, to include money from city coffers or any other source. Poquoson Assistant City Manager Graham Wilson did not immediately reply to that request, which must be answered within five business days under state law.
Daily Press 

Staff with the Hampton Roads Regional Jail barred a defense investigator from taking photos of an inmate’s injuries, an attorney said this week in General District Court. And when another attorney with the public defender’s office tried to take photos in a courthouse holding area Wednesday, Portsmouth sheriff’s deputies also said no. It took a court order for Assistant Public Defender Lynette Hill to finally be allowed to use her phone to snap photos of 53-year-old Althelia Scott’s bruised arms.
The Virginian-Pilot 

Important historical county legal records will be maintained for future generations to reference thanks to a recent grant. The Warren County Circuit Court recently received an $8,713 Library of Virginia Circuit Court Records Preservation grant to restore records including the 1932 map of the Shenandoah National Park when it was only a proposal. Circuit Court Clerk Daryl Funk said the map, which details the 74 property owners on what is now Skyline Drive, is a key piece of history because many of those people were forced off their land.
The Northern Virginia Daily


stories of national interest

A Boulder (Colorado) District Court judge has denied Boulder County's effort to get Gunbarrel resident Kristin Bjornsen to pay more than $3,900 in attorney's fees and related court costs that the county claimed was part of the expense of defending the county in an open-meetings and open-records lawsuit. Bjornsen welcomed Judge Thomas Mulvahill's decision and said in an interview that she'll soon be submitting a brief to the Colorado Court of Appeals, which she's asking to reverse earlier rulings in which Mulvahill concluded Boulder County had not violated open meetings and open-records laws.

Political “robocalls” — which, like commercial calls, increasingly target consumers’ phones — may be annoying, but a Wyoming law to prohibit political operatives from using them is overly broad and unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled.