Sides disagree over what has been furnished
Parkville area resident who is suing the city for not producing documents under the state’s open meetings law continues to argue in court that he has not received requested information via the discovery process while the city contends it has produced the requested documents.
Jason Maki, who filed suit a little more than a year ago over items he requested under the state’s Sunshine Law which is designed to foster transparency in government, told a Platte County judge Monday afternoon that he still had not received discovery documents the city had agreed to provide in an earlier hearing.
At issue during Monday’s hearing were documents dealing with Maki’s request for information concerning city officials’ communications about how to handle Maki’s Sunshine requests. The city’s legal team has argued that some documents are confidential or closed records under the Sunshine Law and therefore should not be accessible to the public.
At the hearing earlier this month, Maki, who is representing himself, agreed not to share with the public or press such confidential information released by the city, but said the documents were still being withheld.
“We’re still where we were a month ago,” Maki told Judge James Van Amburg, referring to the discussion in a March 1 hearing.
The requested information falls under the legal definition of “discovery,” an early phase in a lawsuit in which the plaintiff (Maki) and defendant (Parkville) share facts. Maki said that at the last hearing earlier this month he gave the city longer than the usual 10 days to produce the documents.
“I gave them 20 days as a good will gesture,” Maki said.
But Coronado disagreed that the city had not produced requested information.
“As I stand here today I thought we had produced all documents,” Coronado said.
“You claim you’ve sent all documents concerning attorney-client privilege but you haven’t produced anything,” Maki said to Coronado, one of a team of attorneys hired to represent the city.
“The city agreed to produce those documents and still you have not provided a single document regarding the amended petition filed last year,” Maki said.
The lawsuit, which the city has so far paid about $130,000 in taxpayer money to defend, includes nearly 60 alleged instances of Sunshine violations, or information that Maki contends has been illegally withheld.
Van Amburg said he will issue a written ruling on the matter within the next week or so and set the next hearing for Monday, April 12, but did not mention which topics will be discussed. Coronado told the court his team will produce any withstanding requested discovery documents discussed by the date of that hearing.