(Edited for Front paging – promoted by ClubTwitty)
The party may be over for the Garfield County, Colorado commissioners, as local residents have filed a lawsuit against the county for violating open meeting laws and passing an illegal resolution.
On March 27th of this year, the Garfield County Commissioners took part in a secret meeting in Vernal, Utah with oil shale lobbyists and other elected officials from Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. At the meeting, a plan was developed to back a radical proposal for oil shale speculation that could negatively impact the quantity and quality of our water resources.
Now, Commissioner Tom Jankovsky has admitted that they failed to properly give notice of the meeting to the public, which led to the commission rescinding their illegal resolution. However they have yet to admit that their participation in the secret Vernal meeting was illegal.
The public was blocked from participating in the meeting – despite the fact that public business was discussed in a public building, and on the taxpayer dime. Colorado’s Open Meeting Laws clearly state that elected officials need to conduct public business in public.
The commissioners are performing their new song, Breakin’ the Law, on demand!
The Garfield County residents acted after months of public outcry and calls for the commissioners to pledge to never again meet in secret, closed-door meetings on public business went unheeded. In fact, Commissioner Tom Jankovsky’s response to a constituent’s request that he pledge to stop meeting illegally with oil shale lobbyists was to call a constituent arrogant.
This from a commissioner caught lying in the news about his level of involvement in the illegal, secret meeting with oil shale lobbyists. Initially, Jankovsky claimed that he was just a listener at an informational meeting and that they weren’t there to make any decisions. But, documents obtained through an open records request from Colorado Common Cause showed that not only was Jankovsky a co-organizer of the meeting – responsible for personally inviting several oil shale lobbyists – but he also sent an email on March 18th to an oil shale lobbyist stating that “Our goal is to come up with a statement that all the counties…can sign off on and send to the BLM.”