KSL INVESTIGATES

Judge rules public gets to see Utah attorney general’s work calendar

Feb 27, 2024, 3:50 PM | Updated: Feb 28, 2024, 6:18 am

SALT LAKE CITY – A judge has ordered Utah’s attorney general to release his work calendar to KSL and the public, the culmination of a public records fight that dragged on for more than a year as the office sought to keep his schedule under wraps.

“This is a victory for the KSL investigators and KSL TV, but it’s really a victory for the public,” KSL news director Leona Wood said Tuesday after the judge gave his ruling. “It’s a victory for good government, improved government.”

Third District Judge Patrick Corum found Attorney General Sean Reyes’ calendar is subject to Utah’s open records law and granted KSL’s motion for summary judgment, ordering the schedule be released before the case went to trial.

Under Utah’s open records law, a government employee’s “personal” calendar is off-limits. The judge said Tuesday that because several of Reyes’ staffers can see and change his schedule as part of their jobs, his Outlook calendar doesn’t count as personal.

“There’s half a dozen people that have deep, very, very extensive details of this calendar, making it not for personal use,” Corum said.

Utahns may not have a chance to see Reyes’ schedule anytime soon, however. His office said it will appeal the judge’s decision.

“Today’s ruling means that the daily calendars of all state, county, and city employees would be subject to GRAMA,” spokesman Rich Piatt said in a statement. “That is contrary to the intent and clear language of the statute. While we respect the legal process, we disagree with the ruling and the Attorney General’s Office intends to appeal.”

The office argued in court that they aren’t trying to hide anything and under their interpretation of Utah’s open records law, a daily calendar cannot be made publicly available in response to an open records request.

The Utah State Records Committee ruled in favor of KSL in May, ordering Reyes’ office to release the calendar but allowing it to redact any information about his personal engagements, along with the locations of his work appointments. Reyes’ office appealed to 3rd District Court.

Attorney David Reymann, who represented KSL in the case, called the ruling “a huge victory for public accountability of elected officials.”

He said it shouldn’t have taken more than a year, a decision from the state records committee, and a legal battle in district court to get to this point – all on the taxpayer’s dime.

“The tactical decision by Attorney General Reyes to try and keep that information from the public was unfortunate, especially for an office that at least gives lip service to the idea that his office is transparent,” Reymann said. “But the court saw through the arguments that they were making, and it sided with the public.”

The reach of the decision could be cut short. Just hours after the court ruling, the Utah House of Representatives passed a bill late Tuesday to make all public and elected officials’ calendars off-limits. The measure, SB240, now goes to Gov. Spencer Cox for approval. If he signs it, the change takes effect immediately.

‘More secrecy’: Utah lawmakers advance bills targeting government transparency

Asked whether the governor intends to sign the bill, a spokesperson for his office said he has not yet reviewed it.

Bill sponsor Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, has said the move is a direct response to KSL’s case and he wants to make clear public employees’ schedules aren’t available to the public through Utah’s open records law in the future.

Reymann said government should move in the direction of transparency and not secrecy.

“And when people make their voices heard and tell their legislators, ‘This is not okay, this was not what I elected you to do,’ then it can make a difference,” Reymann said.

KSL first sought a copy of Attorney General Sean Reyes’ schedule more than a year ago, in November 2022.

5 things to know about KSL’s legal fight for transparency

Reyes has faced intense scrutiny for controversial trips out of state and ties to the former leader of an embattled charity, Operation Underground Railroad. He announced last year he’s not running for reelection.


Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you. 

KSL 5 TV Live

KSL Investigates

Summer travel is about to take flight. That means a whole lot of points and miles being used and ea...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Thieves are going after your frequent flier mileage: how you can safeguard those miles and points

Summer travel is about to take flight. That means a whole lot of points and miles being used and earned, and cybercriminals know it.

11 hours ago

Peggy Lundberg tells KSL’s Matt Gephardt about her experience of having her travel credit stolen....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Thieves stealing airline travel credits: How you can protect them

If someone steals your credit card or hacks into your bank account, federal law says you should get most of your money back. But what protections do you have when someone steals your airline travel credits?

1 day ago

Matt Gephardt looking over the CarShield documents for Scott Dumas....

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

West Haven man says extended auto warranty refuses to cover costly engine repair

Many drivers buy an extended auto warranty to help keep their car on the road, but when the extended warranty a West Haven man bought refused to cover replacing an engine, he decided to Get Gephardt.

5 days ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Matt Gephardt

How hoarding documents puts you at risk for identity theft

Someone who knows what they’re doing can do a whole lot of damage with the scraps of paper you’ve stashed in filing cabinets, drawers and other various hiding places around your house.

6 days ago

IOC excludes Russian and Belarusian athletes from Paris 2024 Olympics opening ceremonies....

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: How to stay ahead of the 2024 Olympics scams

As Utahns know firsthand from 2002, the Olympics can be a bit chaotic with millions in an unfamiliar place. The situation is sure to entice opportunistic con men with Olympic scams.

7 days ago

Prosecutors filed felony charges in a Salt Lake City rape case from 2019, but later reduced them to...

Daniella Rivera

Could making this change help Utah improve sexual assault prosecutions?

Only a fraction of sexual assaults reported to police in Utah result in criminal charges for the perpetrator, but a legislative proposal could potentially change that.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Judge rules public gets to see Utah attorney general’s work calendar