Independence Examiner, Tuesday 06/04/02

Jackson County News

By James Dornbrook
The Examiner

County Legislature Chairman Victor Callahan immediately responded to an informal request from Legal Counsel Kathleen Kedigh, who wanted all correspondence between the Bob WitbolsFeugen and Callahan.

Kedigh is the lawyer who defended the Office of Human Relations and Citizens Complaints in a recent Sunshine Law case that Jackson County lost. WitbolsFeugen was one of the plaintiffs.

The request for records from Callahan comes after Legislators Callahan and Terry Young, along with The Examiner, requested all monthly case logs and financial records from the County Counselor's Office regarding the Sunshine Law case. The legal counsel did not list a reason for wanting Callahan's records.

Callahan responded to the request during Monday's legislative meeting, ceremoniously dumping a stack of paperwork about two feet high in front of County Counselor Jane McQueeny. The stack of papers also included a protest sign depicting County Executive Katheryn Shields behind bars and stating, "Shields: Sunshine Law Repeat Offender."

"I really don't believe that correspondence between a legislator and his constituents is covered by the Sunshine Law, but since I believe in open and honest government, I'm more than happy to respond to your request," said Callahan. "I believe if everyone had been open regarding this case we wouldn't have been in this situation in the first place."

Callahan asked McQueeny how much time her office would be spending on studying the documents and how much it would add to the cost of the Sunshine Law case. McQueeny said she wouldn't be able to determine that, because her office doesn't log counselors' time.

To reach James Dornbrook e-mail or call (816) 350-6322.
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