It took nearly three weeks, but Boulder Weekly finally obtained the phone records of District Attorney Stan Garnett for the morning of May 16, when Garnett discussed financial disclosure allegations against Boulder City Councilmember George Karakehian with City Attorney Tom Carr.
State open records laws say disclosures should normally be made within three business days of such requests.
The Weekly was following up on claims against Karakehian made by local political gadfly Seth Brigham, who was slapped with a restraining order by the city after claiming, among other things, that the councilmember did not fully disclose his financial interests in a required campaign form before his re-election last fall. Garnett abruptly closed an investigation into the claims after speaking to Carr by phone, shortly after telling BW the inquiry would take about two weeks.
Carr’s office produced his phone records within three days of a BW request.
After Boulder Weekly asked for incoming and outgoing calls on the direct line of Garnett between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon on May 16, Chief Deputy District Attorney KarenLorenz wrote a memo to BW on May 23 saying the DA’s office “does not make or maintain records of phone calls” and that “there are no such records available for disclosure.”
After BW replied in a May 25 letter that Colorado case law requires custodians of records to produce files even if they only have access to them through a third-party contractor like a phone company, Lorenz responded on June 4 by saying that the DA’s office is not the “custodian” of such records. She suggested that BW direct its request to the county information technology department, but an employee there referred the Weekly to County Attorney Ben Pearlman.
After filing an open records request with Pearlman’s office on June 5, Garnett’s phone log for that period was provided to BW on June 6. The log confirms that Carr called Garnett at 10:40 a.m. on May 16, just six minutes before Garnett told BW that he had not talked to Carr or Karakehian that morning. Garnett then called Carr at 10:51 a.m., after speaking with BW.
None of the three phone numbers that BW has for Karakehian showed up on Garnett’s phone records for that morning.