From: The ECHO-Association <email@example.com>
Subject: Appeal to the Utah State Records Committee (LEGAL INVOICES)
Date: January 3, 2022 at 12:10:42 PM PST
Cc: Jennifer Hawkes <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
SRC Executive Secretary
346 S. Rio Grande
Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1106
Dear Ms. Shaw,
We hereby appeal the “affirmed denial” of the Chief Administrative Officer of Emigration Improvement District (“EID” aka Emigration Canyon Improvement District aka ECID) Micheal Scott Hughes under Utah Code Ann. 63G-2-403 regarding our request dated November 24, 2021, to inspect legal invoices and evidence of payment thereof believed to document misuse of public funds for private profit.
Please note the following for the purpose of this appeal:
Name: Mark Christopher Tracy
Mailing Address: 1160 E. Buchnel Dr., Sandy, Utah 84094
Daytime Phone Number: 929-208-6010
Date of GRAMA Request to the EID Certified Public Records Officer: November 24, 2021 (see https://echo-association.com/?page_id=8818).
Date of GRAMA Denial: November 28, 2021 (see https://echo-association.com/?page_id=8841).
Date of GRAMA Appeal to Chief Administrative Officer: December 3, 2021 (see id.).
Date of GRAMA decision of the Chief Administrative Officer: No response.
Relief Sought / Grounds for Appeal: Access to all legal invoices and evidence of payment to the Salt Lake City law firm Cohne Kinghorn P.C., Parson Kinghorn Harris and Gerald R. Kinghorn since August 1, 1998.
Under Utah Code Ann. sec. 63G-2-201(1)(a) “a person has the right to inspect a public record free of charge, and the right to take a copy of a public record during normal working hours” if the record is not privileged or confidential.
The Utah State Records Committee has expressly recognized that legal service invoices submitted for payment of public funds to a government vendor are not generally subject to the attorney-client privilege under Utah Code 63G-2-305(17), (18) or (23) (see Onykso v. Attorney General’s Office, Case No. 2020-105).
Regardless of the fact that legal service invoices are not “prepared … for, or in anticipation of pending litigation,” or concern a “governmental entity’s strategy about imminent or pending litigation” but rather only document the scope and duration of work performed as a demand for payment, federal courts have unanimously rejected claims of attorney-client privilege even when legal services are provided solely to private individuals and corporations and not a for-profit corporation contracted by a governmental entity to create and maintain public records at taxpayer expense as in the instant action. (See e.g., In re Grand Jury Suboenas, 906 F.2d 1485 (10th Cir. 1990).
Likewise, the Utah State Records Committee also expressly rejected the notion that a governmental entity may deny access to public records because a courtesy copy was also provided to an individual in physical possession and/or with legal authority over requested documents.
Please note that the requested government records are directly relevant to federal litigation pending against Utah Attorney Jeremy Cook, EID Chief Administrative Officer Michael Scott Hughes, EID Certified Public Records Officer Eric Hawkes and Emigration Canyon Mayor Joe Smolka et al. (see https://echo-association.com/?page_id=1524 and https://echo-association.com/?page_id=818).
Mark Christopher Tracy
– qui tam Relator