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ACLU of Utah Submits GRAMA Request to Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control After Department Fails to Comply with Utah's Open and Public Meetings Act

03 February 2003 Published in Legal Advocacy

The ACLU of Utah submitted a GRAMA Request to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) after the Salt Lake Tribune reported that DABC asked the LDS Church to review proposed changes to Utah's alcohol laws, in direct violation of Utah's Open and Public Meetings Act. Our office submitted a letter to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control regarding the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA).

Read the Letter Below >>

 

Letter to the Department of Alcohol Beverage Control

By Facsimile and U.S. Mail

Nicholas E. Hales, Chairman
Larry V. Lunt, Vice Chairman
Frank W. Budd
Ted D. Lewis
Mary Ann Mantes
Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
1625 South 900 West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84130

February 3, 2003

RE: Government Records Access and Management Act

Dear Commission Members,

On January 25, 2003, the Salt Lake Tribune stated that the chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Control commission asked the LDS Church to review proposed changes to Utah’s alcoholic beverage laws. These highly questionable meetings between the DABC and the LDS Church may be yet another violation of Utah’s Open and Public Meetings Act by DABC officials. Because the Commission has a history of repeatedly refusing to comply with the open and public meetings law in Utah, the ACLU of Utah, pursuant to the Utah Governmental Records Access and Management Act, Ut. Code Ann. §§63-2-101 et. seq. formally requests to review the following documents in order investigate further violations of the law by DABC:

  • Any documents stating which committee members conducted a meeting, either in person or electronically, with the LDS Church to review the proposed legislation and the date, location and time of any such meetings and the names of the LDS Church officials present at the meetings;
  • The date or dates the proposed legislation was shown to the LDS Church for review and comment;
  • Any changes that the LDS Church made to the proposed legislation that were incorporated into the proposed legislation by DABC members;
  • Copies of every draft of the legislation both before and after the document was shown to LDS Church officials;
  • The date and time that committee members met to discuss any comments or changes recommended by the LDS church including a list of which committee members and LDS Church officials were present at this type of meeting;
  • The names, dates and times and which committee members contacted other religious or special interest organizations in the state for review and comment on the proposed legislation and the names of these religious or special interest organizations;
  • Any rules or regulations promulgated by DABC concerning public comment on any proposed legislation or rule changes.

 

If you have any questions about this request, please contact me. Please bill my office for any reasonable copying charge associated with providing the above information and documents. If the costs exceed $50.00 please contact my office. By statute, we will look forward to your response within ten days from the receipt of this request.

Thank you for you prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Janelle Eurick
Staff Attorney
ACLU of Utah