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Jun 5, 2013 4:55 PM by Juice Godfrey

The Aspen Times wins access to records from Basalt

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) - A judge has ordered the town of Basalt to release numerous records to The Aspen Times regarding former Police Chief Roderick O'Connor's departure.

The Aspen Times reports Eagle County District Judge Mark Thompson also ordered the town on Monday to pay legal fees - estimated at around $45,000 - that the newspaper spent getting the records.

The newspaper sought the records after O'Connor resigned last fall for reasons that were unclear. Town officials approved a nearly $84,000 severance package.

The newspaper later learned there was friction between O'Connor and some employees.

The town had argued that documents concerning O'Connor involve a personnel matter and are therefore private, but the judge ruled there is a valid and legitimate public interest in understanding O'Connor's departure and its impact on Basalt's finances.

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