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Newspaper Wins Round

(CN) - A sheriff must release records about malfeasance charges against him, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled.

The Colorado Springs Gazette and two men who say they were wrongfully arrested sued El Paso County Sheriff's Department, seeking disclosure of the investigation of a deputy sheriff.

Deputy Shawn Moncalieri was the subject of six internal affairs investigations in four years. Two brothers accused him of falsely arresting them twice each.

"Because the Sheriff did not properly perform his role in this inspection request case, the district court should have ordered him to do so," Judge Hobbs wrote. "The Sheriff is required to balance the public and private interests. He did not do so here."

The brothers argued that because their records were sealed, the district judge did not have jurisdiction to authorize their release to the newspaper.

"The district court has authority to issue an order to show cause, hold a hearing, and review the custodian's decision," Hobbs ruled.

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