CLINTON, Iowa — The Citizens for Open Government group has been denied its request for obtaining closed meeting records from the city of Clinton regarding the federal lawsuit over ambulance billings by the city.
The group filed a request for all the records and received some records related to public meetings and records concerning the $4.5 million settlement of the whistleblower lawsuit filed over the misclassification of billings submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for ambulance services.
But City Attorney Jeff Farwell said the minutes and records of the closed meetings and other records still were not public, even though the lawsuit was settled.
Randall Wilson with American Civil Liberties Union in Iowa, who has been working with the Clinton group, said they are “disappointed” in the response.
“There is a legal process, and that’s what we’ll be doing,” he said.
Wilson said the ACLU will provide legal assistance in pursuing the records. He said they believe this a significant case and will take it on through the ACLU’s open government project.
Wilson said he will handle the case for now, but the organization may recruit an attorney from the area at a later time.
Although the organization is looking at the outcome in Clinton, Wilson said a legal challenge could have a bigger impact.
He believes the Clinton records challenge it is a significant case for the ACLU’s involvement.
Wilson said other government bodies may be watching and “they’ll understand you can’t accomplish everything you want in private meetings.”