From Darkness To Light

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Illegal campaign contribution earns Durango School District 9R a lawsuit

14 Apr 2024 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

An illegal election campaign contribution from Durango School District 9-R towards one of its school board members is the subject of a lawsuit filed by Colorado Attorney General Philip Weiser on behalf of the Elections Division of the Secretary of State. The problem of electoral advocacy arose after Katie Stewart–a member of the Durango School District 9-R Board of Education–had announced her candidacy for the General Assembly in House District 59. Earlier this year, questions arose about whether Stewart was capable of serving on both…


City of Durango

City of Durango loses lawsuit appeal in gamble to hide public financial records

29 Mar 2024 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

The City of Durango lost its appeal of a district court ruling that found the city illegally hid financial records from a local advocate of open records and transparent government. Plaintiff John Simpson filed the original suit against the city over an alleged CORA violation in 2021. Simpson had sought the draft 2021 Comprehensive Report. As an excuse, the city had claimed that the draft version was work product was exempt from disclosure. In the end, the appellate court ruled that the draft report was…


Durango Police Department

Durango Police Department wields unwritten policy to obstruct process service

3 Mar 2024 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

An unwritten Durango Police Department (DPD) policy that prohibits staff at the front office of the facility from accepting legal documents from process servers appears to be attempting to obstruct justice upon its officers. Specifically, DPD Records Supervisor Julie Harris is willfully refusing to accept delivery of personal service from staff at La Plata County Sheriff’s Office. Harris said she would not accept civil court documents to hand over to an officer listed in a lawsuit. In January of 2024, La Plata County Sheriff’s Office…


Colorado Lifestyle Property Management

Colorado Lifestyle Property Management owner lies to HOA Board about roof repairs

19 Feb 2024 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Colorado Lifestyle Property Management owner Austin Smith lied to the Pinon Heights Homeowners Association Board of Directors at their monthly meeting on October 16, 2023 about repairs that he said were done to a hole in the roof. I was at the meeting as a board member and as a home owner taking part in the discussion. In particular, the discussion came up after I pointed out to the board and Austin a defective condition on the roof of residential building #1 at our condominium…


Former city of Durango financial consultant Tommy Gonzalez

Former financial consultant for city of Durango sued for alleged whistleblower retaliation

2 Jan 2024 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A former financial consultant and Chief Financial Officer of the City of Durango is getting sued for allegedly retaliating against a Chief Internal Auditor in Texas who reported credit card theft by city of El Paso officials to the police. Tommy Gonzalez worked as a financial consultant for Durango in March of 2023 while he was simultaneously employed as the city manager for El Paso Texas. Gonzalez was paid $35,000 as a contracted financial consultant for the city of Durango, who he worked for remotely…


Jennifer Coponiti

Jennifer Coponiti resists transparency for San Juan County Sheriff’s Office

16 Dec 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Jennifer Coponiti, the Civilian Operations Supervisor for the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office in Farmington, New Mexico initially tried to avoid providing the text messages of Sheriff Shane Ferrari that I requested in writing. After asserting my belief that Ferrari’s text messages were not exempt from disclosure according to the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) of New Mexico, Coponiti looked into it further. Jennifer Coponiti called me back in a second phone call to tell me that she researched the law further and learned…


City of Durango

City Clerk, City Manager, City Attorney defy transparency & get sued

12 Nov 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. 2 Comments  

City Clerk Faye Harmer has been sued once again for refusing to provide public records to a city resident. John Simpson requested emails that were exchanged between City Councilors and City Attorney Mark Morgan regarding the creation of governance documents for the Financial Advisory Board, a public city advisory board. Simpson and his attorney allege that Simpson was denied access to public information that’s guaranteed for him by the Colorado Open Records Act. Basically, city officials are claiming that the emails between City Councilors and…



Records from three requests to San Juan Basin Public Health

24 Aug 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Records from San Juan Basin Public Health reveal some training expenses that former Director Liane Jollon took before leaving the department. These records were requested on August 18, 2023 and received on August 23, 2023. Immediately after I finished filling out the records request forms for these at the lobby in San Juan Basin Public Health, Brain Devine successfully had two Durango Police Department officers trespass me from the building. My video recording of the visit was their justification for trespassing me from the building.…


San Juan Basin Public Health redirects public from lobby because of journalist’s camera

19 Aug 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. 1 Comment  

San Juan Basin Public Health redirected the public from the entering the public lobby in Durango while I video recorded my visit during business hours on 8/18/23, according to Environmental Health Director Brian Devine. To be clear, I was visiting the facility to submit written requests for public records and record public officials with a friend. Devine then called the police to claim that we were disrupting and interfering with operations by peacefully video recording. Alarmingly, Devine claimed that we were breaking the law by…



Meeting times of Board of Health exclude many citizens. Sign this petition

7 Aug 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Meeting times of the La Plata County Board of Health are scheduled by the Board of County Commissioners to occur at times that are difficult for the working-class public to attend. This post contains a petition to La Plata County Chairperson Marsha Porter Norton and Administrative Assistant Mary Caldwell to schedule the Board of Health meetings to occur at 5:00 p.m. or later in the afternoon. The next meeting of the Board of Health is scheduled to occur on Thursday, August 10 at 2:00 p.m.…


Durango Public Library

Durango Public Library bans book called “The Real Anthony Fauci”

1 Aug 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Durango Public Library staff have rejected multiple suggestions from members of the public to accept as a donation or to purchase a book titled “The Real Anthony Fauci” that’s written by presidential candidate Robert Kennedy. Alarmingly, the decision of the library staff appears to violate both the Library Bill of Rights and the Selection Criteria portion of their Collection Development policy. In response to questions about what standards were used or ignored before refusing to purchase this specific title, the library staff don’t have to…


Drone show versus fireworks show cost comparison, City of Durango 4th of July

20 Jul 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

A drone show has taken the place of a fireworks show on the 4th of July in the city of Durango for the years 2022 and 2023. Rather than put the Durango Fire Protection District for the night during what used to be a fireworks show, the City of Durango has instead adopted a nanny-state policy of paying a contractor to fly drones over the city. What used to be an exciting hour-long fireworks show is now a 10-minute choreographed aerial display of 125 drones…


Durango Arts

Durango Arts Center Director and Prosecutor Connor Wills request removal of video

8 Jul 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Durango Arts Center Executive Director Brenda Macon and La Plata County Deputy District Attorney Connor Wills are on a war path to have my video removed that I published on the internet about my last visit to the publicly-owned and funded community building. Most recently, DDA Wills is trying to get me to delete a video and agree not to publish any videos about the organization for a one-year period. Specifically, both of their requests to have have the video removed stem from my last…


Judge Reid Stewart granted a 100-yard rule in a hearing on a Motion to Reconsider.

Judge Reid Stewart gives Deputy DA Wills some case law and grants his Motion To Reconsider

26 Jun 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Judge Reid Stewart gave Deputy District Attorney Connor Wills some case law to use against me for his prosecution at a May 19, 2023 hearing in the case of my alleged trespassing at Durango Arts Center. Basically, the prosecution wants to keep me as far away from Brenda Macon as possible in order to inconvenience me through the court system. Macon and the prosecution have flexed their egotistical will upon me by convincing Judge Stewart to amend with further restrictions a Protection Order that’s already…


Citizen Complaint Review Panel of Durango Police Department meets in secrecy

12 Jun 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

The Citizen Complaint Review Panel of Durango Police Department meets in secrecy every March to make recommendations about the citizen’s complaints that were already disposed of by city investigators or supervisors. Police Chief Bob Brammer said that the panel reviews complaints that are considered personnel matters. Deputy Police Chief Brice Current referred to the panel as a ‘committee’ at a Durango Police Department Town Hall meeting that they held at Durango Public Library. “They look at all of our complaints at the end of the…


Judge denies Durango Arts Center attempt to amend Protection Order

8 May 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Judge Lobato denied a motion by Deputy District Attorney Connor Wills that was made on behalf of Durango Arts Center Director Brenda Macon, who felt unnerved at the idea of me working at a property across the street from her home. Additionally, Ms. Macon has been worried after she received phone calls with heavy breathing ever since a video of her was published on the Press For Transparency website, said Wills. My jury trial for allegedly trespassing at Durango Arts Center was supposed to happen…



Durango Arts Center Director solicits City officials for grant money under false pretenses

11 Apr 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Durango Arts Center Director Brenda Macon made multiple false representations in an application and letter of solicitation for 2022 Lodger’s Tax Arts and Culture funds. After City officials received the application, the City of Durango awarded the Lodger’s Tax money to Durango Arts Center. Notably, the City of Durango’s 2022 Lodger’s Tax money was used to repair the roof of Durango Arts Center (DAC) following Brenda Macon’s submission of their application under false pretenses. Macon signed and submitted an Acknowledgement of Acceptance form on behalf…


San Juan Basin Public Health removes some COVID-19 misinformation from website

22 Mar 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

San Juan Basin Public Health removed numerous bullet points of misinformation from their web page about the COVID-19 vaccines. Specifically, some time after Feb. 10, 2022, the public health agency deleted an entire web page about the jabs. They replaced it with a web page minus the same misinformation that they had previously published. In 2022, the URL was replaced with a page having less information. The newer page was published at the URL: Some previous versions of their web pages about the…


City of Durango

District Judge orders city to release financial statements to public under CORA

28 Feb 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

District Court Judge Suzanne Carlson ordered the City of Durango to make a draft financial statement from the year 2021 available for public inspection following the city’s denial of the record to a local resident. John Simpson sued City Clerk Faye Harmer in her official capacity after she repeatedly denied his requests for the record(s) that he made pursuant to the Colorado Open Records Act. Defendant Harmer made the argument that the release of the draft audit materials would cause significant public harm, because it…


Boards and commissions of City of Durango to be dissolved to save staff time and expense

13 Feb 2023 | Posted by Adam Howell. No Comments  

Boards and commissions appointed by City of Durango Councilors will soon be dissolved in order to free up staff time and tax dollars that was previously spent working with them. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board was obviously disappointed about it. The dissolution was proposed by city staff and councilors for the following reasons, according to the agenda packet: Remove redundancy and increase efficiency. Retain and enhance a high level of customer service, ensure transparency, and allow for adequate public input. Lessen unnecessary administrative burden…


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