Nash v. Whitman

Criminal Justice | Government Transparency
Case No. No. 05cv4500, Denver District Court
ACLU Case No. 2004-03


This lawsuit, filed under the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act on behalf of Stephen and Vickie Nash and the ACLU, seeks disclosure of documents connected with the Denver Police Department’s internal investigations of the Denver Spy Files controversy.

The Nashes were plaintiffs in the ACLU’s class action lawsuit challenging the Spy Files. In July, 2002, while the lawsuit was pending, they filed a citizen complaint charging that the police department unjustifiably monitored and kept files on their lawful political activities, falsely branded them as “criminal extremist,” and distributed files with that defamatory label to third parties. They asked for a full investigation and discipline of the officers responsible. Twenty months later, in March 2004, Chief Whitman responded with a brief two-paragraph letter stating that the investigation was completed. He said that discipline had been imposed and policies were changed, but he provided no further information. He did not name the officers who were disciplined, nor did he reveal the sanction imposed. The Nashes and the ACLU requested disclosure of documents connected with the police department’s internal investigations of the Nashes’ complaint and the Spy Files controversy. When Chief Whitman refused to disclose any additional information, the ACLU filed suit.

After a full-day evidentiary hearing, Judge Catherine Lemon ordered disclosure of almost all of the requested documents.


Dean H. Harris
John Culver
Mark Silverstein , ACLU of Colorado Legal Director

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