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Utah's Right to Know
Donald Meyers
Donald W. Meyers writes about open-government issues for The Salt Lake Tribune. He is also the site manager of utahsright.com, the Tribune's online database of public records. He is also a member of the Society of Professional Journalists' National Freedom of Information Committee and sits on the board of directors of the Utah Foundation for Open Government.

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State Records Committee lets redactions to Cedar Hills lawyer bills stand

The State Records Committee ruled Thursday that Cedar Hills officials were justified in holding back some information from legal invoices sought by local gadfly Ken Cromar.

Cromar, a former City Councilman and representative of the group Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government, had filed a request under the state Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) to see the city’s lawyer bills. Cromar made the request in October after city officials, in the city’s newsletter, accused Cromar’s group of costing the city thousands of dollars in legal fees because of the group’s GRAMA requests.

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Eric T. Johnson, Cedar Hills’ attorney, said he has a $2,000-a-month contract with the city for providing administrative assistance to the city. But he charges $150 an hour for litigation, and said appeals that went to the records committee were considered "a form of litigation."

The city did provide copies of some of the invoices. After an earlier appeal by Cromar to the records committee, the city provided he rest, but with information about dates, times and names redacted from the records.

The committee, after looking at the original documents, ruled that the deletions were justified.



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