It's Sunshine Week. The Quad-City Times on Sunday graded the city of Davenport with an “A” for transparency, which fails to mention that the Iowa Court of Appeals found Davenport violated the Iowa public records law twice for failing to release public records in Diercks and Lane v. Malin and the City of Davenport, Iowa.
The Dec. 21 Iowa Court of Appeals 21-page ruling found that Davenport failed to release a $207,900 invoice it received from a national accounting firm, DeLoitte and Touche, on its ill-fated attempt to purchase the Isle of Capri casino. The Iowa Appeals Court also found that Davenport violated the Iowa public records law by refusing to provide a Jan. 13, 2013, casino memo it received on the subject of casino public records.
Contrary to the news story, Davenport has not been transparent nor has it timely complied with the public records law. Instead of voluntarily providing these public records, Davenport has spent more than $150,000 fighting the public’s right to see the DeLoitte and Touche bill and the casino memo by hiring outside legal counsel with our taxpayer dollars.
Release of public records can expose government folly and the waste of taxpayer monies. We citizens own these records, not the government. The Quad-City Times fails to even mention Davenport’s belligerent attempt to keep these records secret over the past four years in its March 12 story.
I believe that Davenport should receive a “D” for their actions to hide public records and to waste taxpayer monies in their actions against the public’s right to view records.
Dr. Allen Diercks
Editor's note: Diercks is a plaintiff in the above-mentioned lawsuit.