Tulsa city employees union files open records court petition

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American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1180, which represents non-sworn employees of the City of Tulsa, has filed a petition for declaratory judgment against the City of Tulsa for the City's failure to comply with the union's request for public financial information in a timely fashion, as required by Oklahoma's Open Records law.

The petition was filed in Tulsa County District Court on June 5, 2013, case number CV-2013-00690. It has been assigned to District Judge Linda G. Morrissey.

Here are the allegations in the petition:

5. On or about February 5, 2013, Plaintiff requested written records from Defendant pursuant to the Oklahoma Open Records Act 51 OKLA STAT. § 24A.1 et seq. See Exhibit "A" attached hereto and made part hereof.

6. To date, Plaintiff has not received the documents requested on February 5, 2013 from Defendant.

7. On or about April 23, 2013, Defendant requested a copy of an audio recording of a telephone call from Defendant pursuant to the Oklahoma Open Records Act 51 OKLA STAT. § 24A.1 et seq. See Exhibit "B" attached hereto and made part hereof.

8. On or about April 26, 2013, Defendant responded to Plaintiffs request of April 23, 2013, stating that Defendant is not required to produce the requested audio recording in response to an Open Records Request.

9. On or about May 28, 2013, Plaintiff requested time sheets, overtime forms, leave reports, lists of employees, and emails containing certain words from Defendant. See Exhibit "C", attached hereto and made part hereof.

10. To date, Plaintiff has not received the documents requested on May 28, 2013, from Defendant.

11. As to the remaining records, Defendant has not produced them to date and despite the length of time that has passed since they have been requested has not provided a date certain that they will be produced in a reasonable amount of time.

12. Plaintiff seeks these records to be fully informed about their government, to obtain documents to adequately seek justice, to plan for future contract and benefit negotiations, and to efficiently and intelligently exercise their inherent political power and rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

The union local is asking the court to find that they are "entitled to the requested records pursuant to the Oklahoma Open Records Act," to award them attorney's fees and costs, and "such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper."

Among the documents being sought are financial documents that have, in the past, routinely been published to the city website, but which have been available only sporadically in recent years. The online archive of City of Tulsa monthly financial reports goes back to February 2002, but the most recent three posted to the site are from February 2013, September 2012, and May 2012. The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, was delivered to the mayor on November 29, 2012, but (based on the Internet Archive's holdings) it doesn't appear to have been posted to the website until Februrary 1, 2013. (See the City of Tulsa's archive of Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports here, going back to 2003.)

AFSCME has scheduled a 10:00 a.m. Thursday press conference to discuss the petition.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on June 5, 2013 9:55 PM.

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