State Records Committee Appeal 98-03
WILLIAM T. JACOB, Appellant vs.
AMERICAN FORK CITY, Appellee.
DECISION AND ORDER
Appellant, William T. Jacob, seeks an order requiring Appellee to supply records concerning an investigation of the American Fork Police Department referred to in a January 7, 1998 Citizen newspaper article.
Appellant appeared in his own behalf, and presented documentation, witnesses and argument. Appellee was represented by Kevin R. Bennett, Esq., Attorney for American Fork City, and presented documentation, witnesses and argument. The State Records Committee, having reviewed the written materials submitted by the parties and having heard testimony and argument, now issues the following decision and order.
STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION
The appeal is denied, subject to the condition indicated below. Based on the evidence presented, the Committee concludes that Kevin Watkins, Esq., hired by the City to pursue the investigation, supplied only one document to Jess Green, former Mayor of American Fork, regarding Mr. Watkins' "independent investigation." That document, dated July 31, 1997 on the first page and October 30, 1997 on the second page, has already been supplied by Appellee to Appellant. That document is identical to a letter dated December 8, 1997, except for the difference in dates. The variation in dates arises from the way Mr. Watkins and his former office of Strong & Hanni prepared and generated the document on the office computers.
There was no evidence presented that suggests the existence of other documents with the following exception. The testimony indicated the possibility of the existence of an additional letter from Mr. Watkins to American Fork City or Mr. Green, or both, in which Mr. Watkins agreed to render the legal or investigative services reflected in the document identified above. American Fork City stipulated that it would search for any such additional letter, and if it discovered such a document, would supply the same to Appellant. This order incorporates that stipulation as a condition to denial of the appeal.
WHEREFORE, it is ordered that Petitioner's request for access to the requested records is denied, subject to the condition stated.
RIGHT TO APPEAL
Either party may appeal this Decision and Order to district court. The petition for review must be filed no later than 30 days after the date of this order. The petition for judicial review must be a complaint. The complaint and the appeals process and governed by the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure and by Utah Code Ann. 63-2-404 (1997) and 63-2-502(7)(1997). The Court is required to make its decision de novo. In order to protect its rights of appeal, a party may wish to seek advice from an attorney.
Entered this 20th day of March, 1998.
BETSY L. ROSS,
Acting Chair, State Records Committee