Tucson media outlets each receive $1,171 bills for public records in inquiry about supervisor’s former staffer

Posted on Jun 10, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller has given a $1,171.80 public-records bill to each of two media outlets seeking to know whether a former staffer of Miller’s “was involved in the creation of a short-lived and dubious news site,” The Arizona Daily Star reported June 8. Read Star reporter Joe Ferguson’s story...

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Pima Community College board members want independent look at how school complies with access laws

Posted on May 22, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

Members of the Pima Community College Governing Board in Tucson are asking for an independent examination of the college’s compliance with state public records and open meeting laws, the Arizona Daily Star reported May 22. The story quotes First Amendment Coalition of Arizona attorney Dan Barr, a lawyer with the Phoenix firm of Perkins Coie, L.L.P., who told the Star that the college’s average time of three weeks to fulfill public...

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New laws declare Arizona college campuses as free-speech zones, penalize preventing access to certain public events

Posted on May 17, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

Two new state laws, one designating all Arizona public college and university campuses as free-speech zones and another providing penalties for blocking access to such events as campaign rallies or public hearings, The Arizona Republic reports. Gov. Doug Ducey signed the bills May 16. Read The Arizona Republic story about HB 2615 and HB 2548, which go into effect in...

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FAC, SPJ react to reporters being barred from floor of House of Representatives

Posted on Apr 9, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

The First Amendment Coalition of Arizona and the Phoenix chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists have issued statements opposing Arizona House Speaker David Gowan’s new policy preventing reporters from continuing to work on the House floor until they agree to unprecedented background checks. “Under a new rule that would bar reporters who had been convicted of certain crimes, members of the Capitol press corps h ad been...

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Federal judge hears arguments over banned death-penalty drug

Posted on Apr 9, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

A federal judge heard arguments April 7 from attorneys representing the state Department of Corrections and five death row inmates and the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona over whether to lift a ban on controversial drug used in lethal injections of condemned inmates, The Arizona Republic reported. Read the Republic’s Michael Kiefer’s full story...

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None of texts recovered from commissioner’s cell phone are public records, judge rules

Posted on Mar 28, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

A judge has ruled that none of the text messages recovered from of Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump’s cell phone is a public record, Capitol Media Services’ Howard Fischer reported March 25 in the Arizona Daily Star. After examining several hundred text messages that Stump deleted from a state-owned cell phone, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Randall Warner said only 36 of them occurred within dates sought by Checks...

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Judge orders ‘Republic’ editor to turn over documents about priest’s murder

Posted on Mar 11, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

An Arizona Republic editor must turn over all his documentation about interviews with a Catholic priest relating to the 2014 murder of another priest, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge has ruled,  the Republic reported March 10. Reporter Dennis Wagner’s story tells of editor John D’Anna, who published two pieces about the murder of the Rev. Kenneth Walker that included accounts of d’Anna’s interview with fellow...

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Judge to mull further inspection of corporation commisioner Stump’s phone

Posted on Mar 9, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge will consider more inspections of an Arizona Corporation Commissioner’s state-owned cell phone via use of a different forensic software, The Arizona Republic reported March 8. Reporter Ryan Randazzo reported that an attorney for a clean-energy group called Checks and Balances asked Judge Randall Warner to allow use of the software. According to the story, the request was to learn whether Commissioner...

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Two bills before Arizona Legislature would reduce access to public records

Posted on Feb 7, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

Anyone seeking to view a public record in Arizona and anyone suing Arizona government officials over such access would have a harder time doing it, according to two bills before state lawmakers, The Arizona Republic reported Feb. 3. According to Republic reporter Alia Beard Rau’s story, House Bill 2383 would deny access to photos in the hands of government agencies depicting crime victims or minors unless a judge allows release of those...

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Vocal prayers to start Phoenix City Council meetings now a thing of the past

Posted on Feb 7, 2016 in Featured, News & Blog | 0 comments

In a 5-4 decision, members of the Phoenix City Council ended a decades-long practice of starting their meetings with a vocal prayer, opting instead for a moment of silence, The Arizona Republic reported Feb. 4. The vote came after members of the Satanic Temple signed up to give the invocation at a Feb. 17 council meeting, leading to some council members seeking to change how those who offer the prayers are selected, according to Republic...

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