City Government

Court Rules Against Boise City In Records Case

BOISE GUARDIAN editor David R. Frazier has a right to a copy of security video showing a game of “strip hockey” at Boise City’s Ice World, despite Boise City’s denial of a public records request.

Senior Judge George D. Carey issued a judgement following a Tuesday trial in Fourth District Court overturning the City’s denial. Frazier appeared as his own attorney and presented arguments and evidence contesting the City’s defense which claimed the video was exempt from disclosure under national security-type exemptions.

The City said disclosure of the video would compromise the security system which is designed to deter criminal acts of “pranksters, bullies, vandals, thieves, or TERRORISTS.”

Judge Carey ruled that Frazier was correct and the City was wrong. He awarded Frazier all costs of the suit with the exception of attorney fees since Frazier is not a licensed attorney.

“I am not a lawyer. I just play one in court,” quipped Frazier.

At issue was video made by the City’s security camera showing hockey players engaged in what was described as a “team building exercise.” If the players missed a shot, they removed an article of clothing. An irate mother called the “Mayor’s Hotline complaining of the scantily clad youths.

The GUARDIAN published the ORIGINAL ACCOUNT October 27, 2009 and soon requested the video. City officials denied the request, prompting the civil law suit.

Frazier said the reason for bringing suit against the city was to “preserve the right of all citizens to view public documents–including videos–under the provisions of the Idaho Public Records Law. “

He noted the last time video from a city camera made the news it showed a police chief and city official carrying stolen property back into the city hall. (That was under a previous administration and led to jail time for former Mayor Brent Coles and his chief of staff)

Link to original story

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Did they try to claim the video was on an ancient system and that to make a copy onto DVD would require computer experts and cost a fortune? Or something like that, I can’t remember exactly.

    That’s how they got around my public records request for video from the security cams at the Clocktower Pond.

    By the way, when do we get to see it?

  2. Thanks for taking the city on – we owe you. Keep up the good work to preserve the “public” in public records and videos.

  3. Congratulations on a BIG BG win for truth and transparency! As I have nothing else to give at this time, I present to you and Paul this link:

    http://www.kappataualpha.org/

    Yours respectfully,

    KTA

  4. Yes Mitch, and the pubic in public records!
    Love ya G-man. Still waiting for some great breaking poop news.

  5. I don’t understand these other comments…it borders on voyeursim. Yes, you won the right to obtain the video, but seriously, for what do you need it? What are your intentions in securing a videotape of young teenage men in their underwear at a sporting event?

    Exercising one’s rights to information when it’s necessary is appropriate, but to just make a point and possibly cause harm to the boys is reprehensible in my opinion.

    EDITOR NOTE–Atticus, here’s the deal. The request was made in good faith because a woman called the mayor and the police complaining of seeing “practically naked” players with their “asses showing.” We felt it was worth requesting the tape to see if the allegations were true, if the players were unsupervised and for how long, if there really was a young female victim, etc.

    In a facility where they drove the Zambonis to Burger King at midnight, a manager was arrested for stealing hockey sticks and skates, and complaints were once common about beer cans in the locker room, we felt justified in “seeing” what’s up.

    Furthermore, we wanted to protect YOUR right to get documents–like video of criminal activity by the former mayor and staff. This victory should go a long way toward preserving your rights for future requests for video in public buildings, regardless of the activity.

  6. Good job!!! I suspect the city will waste more money and file an appeal.
    Will they ever get it???
    I doubt.

  7. Just a quick note to Team dave. You jamokes are now 0 for 3 against the Guardian. When do you think we can expect you to learn your lesson?

  8. It seems to me our local officials are in denial when it comes to what the law states. Someone in denial of such basic things is not fit for public office, as they do the taxpayers a great disservice.

    In addition, likening “pranksters, bullies and vandals” to terrorists is grasping at straws, and insulting all those who experienced personal toll as a result of 911.

    It is a shame we have a dysfunctional city, especially when it comes to a solid understanding of legal matters. Each time the courts are employed to teach this administration a lesson, one would hope they’d get the message and straighten out their act. However, that seems to not be the case, and their legal shenanigans continue.

    What a sad bunch.

  9. I remain convinced that these kinds of cavalier decisions to deny public records should be punishable by impostition of personal liability. All records are presumed public records. The law is not difficult. Cities and counties and other local entities routinely ignore it, violate it, etc.

  10. John Q Publique
    Feb 20, 2010, 8:54 am

    Nice job Guardian, keep up the good work!

    And for all you aspiring Zamboni drivers there’s good news – Team Dave wants you to work at Idaho Ice World!

    https://www.cityofboise.org/departments/human_resources/ViewJobOpeningsAndApplyForAJob/recruit.aspx

    Hurry, recruitment closes Monday night.

    Sorry, looks like using the company vehicle for late night food runs is no longer part of the benefit package.

  11. Atticus Wrote:
    Feb 18, 2010, 5:39 pm
    I don’t understand these other comments…it borders on voyeursim.

    Me:
    So it’s ok to participate in a strip hockey game in a public place (hard to believe they didn’t know about the cam) but it’s not ok for anyone else to watch it? We the people are too dumb or perverted to pass judgement about what really happened?

    You do know juries are chosen at random and in capital offense cases they are allowed to put someone to death.

    Facepalm and giant SIGH!

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