Dyer: Denied access to Queen Creek records? E-mail me what happened, when

Have you been denied access to public records that the Town of Queen Creek retains as a municipality? If yes, please e-mail me at rdyer@newszap.com with when it was, what you asked for and what the town said when it denied you access.

Richard Dyer

Since January, Independent Newsmedia editors in Arizona — including here in Queen Creek and in Apache Junction, and Scottsdale — have been filing public records requests for a variety of topics. Some, like the Town of Queen Creek, have been providing the information in a timely manner or they explain where the documents are already stored online.

Others, such as Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, have been clear that it takes up to eight weeks for some information, and have followed through.

But then there is the City of Apache Junction, where for a story on out-of-court settlements, I e-mailed the municipality asking for what I thought was a simple request — a five-year snapshot of out-of-court settlements, including when it was filed, when the settlement was made, how much was the settlement, claimant, description of loss or claim and the department. I sought the records for the years 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

City Clerk Kathy Connelly in e-mails denied the request because it was a research project.

Then I found out that the city contracts with a business to handle losses from out-of-court settlements; that yes, the information could be provided; and yes the city would make it available.

It got me thinking: If the city denied me a records request that someone else could provide, maybe other area residents had similar situations.

So send me an e-mail. I’d like to learn what you have sought and were turned down for.

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If you have a news tip, e-mail me at rdyer@newszap.com.

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Editor Richard Dyer can be contacted via e-mail at rdyer@newszap.com or at twitter.com/rhdyer or facebook.com/RichardDyerJournalist

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