December 9, 2004
Mimi Hull
Nelson Phelps, President and Executive Director
AUSWR Board Members and general membership
Yesterday, there was a brief "status conference" before Magistrate Judge Edward Schlatter in Denver Federal Court.  Michael Johnson of the U.S. Attorney's office reported that the Washington D.C. office of the Department of Labor was sending me requested FOIA documents in two large boxes, and the boxes were "sent" yesterday.  He also reported the DOL decided to withhold some documents because the Qwest Pension Plan is still under 'investigation,' and for that reason the DOL would contest our request for payment of attorney's fees and the court filing fee.  Again, he did not elaborate, nor was he required to explain this so-called 'investigation.'
I advised the Court that after I receive and review the materials that are supposedly on the way to me, I will report back to the Court on what we will do about pursuing the matter of payment of attorney's fees.  So, Magistrate Judge Schlatter scheduled another status conference to take place on January 27, 2005.
It will not be easy collecting a judgment for attorney's fees from the federal government.  But, I believe the DOL acted wrongfully and abused the privilege - exemption - under the Freedom of Information Act and that what happened to us is typical of what happens so often to persons making FOIA requests.  So, I am inclined to pursue the matter.
Meanwhile, after I receive the 'boxes', Mimi Hull and I will take time to review that paperwork and, then, send you a report about what we have obtained and learned.