Listen to the Jesus bench complaint


This is the focus of the controversy, which fizzled out when the city acknowledged it made a mistake. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • This is the focus of the controversy, which fizzled out when the city acknowledged it made a mistake.
After the controversy of the Jesus bench arose last week, which you can read about here, we submitted a Colorado Open Records Act request for the one and only complaint the city received on the topic. That complaint drove the city to tell Charis Christian Center that Mountain Metro Transit would no longer accept its ads on city bus benches that used the word Jesus.

We just received the complaint under CORA, which came to the city in the form of a phone call. The city redacted the name of the person who called, but you can read the text of the phone call for yourself here:

In part, the caller said:
I find that extremely offensive and it's public property, it's paid for by taxes, funded by the government one way or another. I think that we live in a diverse enough world that it's ludicrous to push that one thing on people and make people see that... I'm just curious of the legality of whether or not that's even legal to put that on public property....
By the way, the city cited this portion of CORA in redacting the complainant's name. This portion of the law, Colorado Revised Statute ยง 24-72-204(3)(a)(IX), says the following information shall be denied:
Names, addresses, telephone numbers, and personal financial information of past or present users of public utilities, public facilities, or recreational or cultural services that are owned and operated by the state, its agencies, institutions, or political subdivisions; except that nothing in this subparagraph (IX) shall prohibit the custodian of records from transmitting such data to any agent of an investigative branch of a federal agency or any criminal justice agency as defined in section 24-72-302 (3) that makes a request to the custodian to inspect such records and who asserts that the request for information is reasonably related to an investigation within the scope of the agency's authority and duties. Nothing in this subparagraph (IX) shall be construed to prohibit the publication of such information in an aggregate or statistical form so classified as to prevent the identification, location, or habits of individuals.

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