10/18/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Independent Ethics Commission Acted Unethically: Judge

DENVER -- The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission violated the state's Open Meetings Law when it failed to convene a dozen closed-door meetings held earlier this year according to strict legal requirements, a Denver District Court judge has ruled. Because the ethics panel didn't follow the law, the court ordered the state's top ethics panel to "immediately" release all records of any improperly closed meeting, even those the commission claims are protected by attorney-client privilege.

The ruling by Chief Judge Larry Naves was in response to a lawsuit filed by The Colorado Independent in May over the secret meetings. In its lawsuit, The Independent alleged the commission repeatedly violated state law by failing to adhere to required procedures and, once huddled behind closed doors, held discussions the law says the public has a right to hear.

Read more on The Colorado Independent