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1 IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF ST. LOUIS CITY TWENTY-SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT STATE OF MISSOURI 1 SHOW-ME CANNABIS REGULATION, INC., a Missouri nonprofit corporation; and AARON M. MALIN, Plaintiffs, vs. METRO MULTI-JURISDICTIONAL UNDERCOVER DRUG PROGRAM, a/k/a St. Louis City Drug Task Force; FRANCIS SLAY, in his official capacity as the Authorized Official for the Metro Multi-Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program; SAMUEL DOTSON, in his official capacity as Project Director of the Metro Multi-Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program and a member of the Metro Multi- Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program Board; WILLIAM CARSON, in his official capacity as a member of the Metro Multi- Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program Board; DENNIS JENKERSON, in his official capacity as a member of the Metro Multi- Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program Board; RICHARD GRAY, in his official capacity as a member of the Metro Multi-Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program Board; MARK LAWSON, in his official capacity as Associate City Counselor for the St. Louis City Law Department and former Authorized Official for the Metro Multi-Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program; and the MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, Defendants. SERVE: Mayor Francis Slay City Hall, Room 0 Market Street St. Louis, MO Case No. Division Show-Me Cannabis Petition 1

2 1 PETITION 1. The Plaintiffs bring this action against the Defendants to seek redress for violations of the Missouri Sunshine Law (.0 to.0, RSMo. and the Intergovernmental Drug Laws Enforcement Act (.01 to., RSMo... The Plaintiffs ask this Court to issue an order declaring that Defendant Metro Multi- Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program ( the Task Force and its officers or agents have violated their obligations under the Sunshine Law; enjoining the Task Force, its officers or agents from future violations; and awarding the Plaintiffs litigation costs, attorney s fees, and an appropriate civil penalty as authorized by the Sunshine Law.. The Plaintiffs also ask this Court to issue an order declaring that the Task Force does not fulfill the minimum criteria established in the Intergovernmental Drug Laws Enforcement Act as a prerequisite for the receipt of state grants and enjoining Defendant Missouri Department of Public Safety from making further illegal payments of public grant money to the Task Force. Venue and Jurisdiction. This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to Missouri s Injunction Act,.00, RSMo., the Missouri Declaratory Judgment Act,.0, RSMo., and the Missouri Sunshine Act,.0 and.00, RSMo.. Venue for this action is proper in this Court because Defendant Metro Multi- Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program s principal place of business is in St. Louis City and Defendant Samuel Dotson lives and works in St. Louis City. Parties. Plaintiff Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, Inc. ( Show-Me Cannabis, is a Missouri nonprofit corporation that seeks to improve upon the current, failing drug policies by engaging Show-Me Cannabis Petition

3 1 the public in conversation about the negative consequences of the drug war and offering wellresearched, common-sense policy alternatives. Show-Me Cannabis represents the interests of a large number of individuals and organizations that pay taxes to the state of Missouri.. Plaintiff Aaron M. Malin ( Malin is a resident and taxpayer of the state of Missouri and the director of research for Show-Me Cannabis.. Defendant Metro Multi-Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program, also known as the St. Louis City Drug Task Force ( MMUDP or the Task Force, is a multi-jurisdictional enforcement group formed pursuant to.0.1, RSMo.. Defendant Francis Slay is the Mayor of St. Louis City and the Authorized Official responsible for making application on behalf of the Task Force to the Missouri Department of Public Safety for state funds; he is sued in his official capacity.. Defendant Samuel Dotson is the Chief of Police for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the Project Director for the Task Force and a member of the Task Force Board; he is sued in his official capacity.. Defendant Bill Carson, is the Chief of Police for the Maryland Heights Police Department and, upon information and belief, he is a member of the Task Force Board; he is sued in his official capacity. 1. Defendant Dennis Jenkerson is Chief of the St. Louis Fire Department and a member of the Task Force Board; he is sued in his official capacity.. Defendant Richard Gray is the St. Louis Director of Public Safety and, upon information and belief, he is a member of the Task Force Board; he is sued in his official capacity.. Defendant Mark Lawson ( Lawson is Secretary for the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners, an Associate City Counselor for the St. Louis City Law Department, and Show-Me Cannabis Petition

4 1 Attorney Manager for the Police Section of the St. Louis City Law Department. Lawson also acted as the Custodian of Records for the Sunshine Law requests submitted by Malin in regard to the Task Force and for some time prior to about September,, Lawson also served as the Authorized Official responsible for receiving funds for the operation of the Task Force; he is sued in his official capacity.. Defendant Missouri Department of Public Safety is the government agency responsible for distributing state grants to multi-jurisdictional enforcement groups and for monitoring the operations of each group to ensure that groups receiving state grants meet the eligibility requirements for those grants. The Intergovernmental Drug Laws Enforcement Act. Section.0, RSMo., provides: Any two or more political subdivisions or the state highway patrol and any one or more political subdivisions may by order or ordinance agree to cooperate with one another in the formation of a multijurisdictional enforcement group [( MEG ] for the purpose of intensive professional investigation of computer, internet-based, narcotics and drug law violations. [emphasis added]. Section.0.1, RSMo., states: A multijurisdictional enforcement group which meets the minimum criteria established in this section is eligible to receive state grants to help defray the costs of operation.. Section.0., RSMo., states: To be eligible for state grants, a MEG shall: (1 Be established and operating pursuant to intergovernmental contracts written and executed in conformity by law, and involve two or more units of local government; ( Establish a MEG policy board composed of an elected official, or his designee, and the chief law enforcement officer from each participating unit of local government and a representative of a hazardous materials response team Show-Me Cannabis Petition

5 1 or, if such team is not formed, then a representative of the local fire response agency, to oversee the operations of the MEG and make such reports to the department of public safety as the department may require; [emphasis added] ( Designate a single appropriate official of a participating unit of local government to act as the financial officer of the MEG for all participating units of the local government and to receive funds for the operation of the MEG; ( Limit its target operation to enforcement of drug laws; [emphasis added] ( Cooperate with the department of public safety in order to assure compliance with sections.01 to. and to enable the department to fulfill its duties under sections.01 to. and supply the department with all information the department deems necessary therefor; ( Cooperate with the local hazardous material response team to establish a local emergency response strategy.. Section.0., RSMo., states: The department of public safety shall monitor the operations of all MEG units which receive state grants. From the moneys appropriated annually, if funds are made available by the general assembly for this purpose, the director shall determine and certify to the auditor the amount of the grant to be made to each designated MEG financial officer. No provision of this section shall prohibit funding of multijurisdictional enforcement groups by sources other than those provided by the general assembly, if such funding is in accordance with and in such a manner as provided by law.. By the plain terms of.0.1 and.0., RSMo., if a multijurisdictional enforcement group does not satisfy the minimum criteria established in.0., RSMo., the multijurisdictional enforcement group is not eligible to receive state grants. The Sunshine Law. Chapter, RSMo., contains statutes requiring with a few specified limitations that the meetings, records, and votes of all public bodies must be open to the public; this set of statutes is commonly referred to as the Sunshine Law. Show-Me Cannabis Petition

6 1. Section.0(, RSMo., in relevant part, defines Public governmental body as: [A]ny legislative, administrative, or governmental entity created by order or ordinance of any political subdivision or district including : (c Any department or division of the state, of any political subdivision of the state, of any county or of any municipal government[;] (e Any committee appointed by or at the direction of any of the entities and which is authorized to report to any of the above-named entities, any advisory committee appointed by or at the direction of any of the named entities for the specific purpose of recommending, directly to the public governmental body s governing board or its chief administrative officer, policy or policy revisions or expenditures of public funds[.]. Section.0(, RSMo., defines Public business as all matters which relate in any way to the performance of the public governmental body s functions or the conduct of its business[.]. Section.0(, RSMo., defines Public record as: [A]ny record, whether written or electronically stored, retained by or of any public governmental body including any report, survey, memorandum, or other document or study prepared for the public governmental body by a consultant or other professional service paid for in whole or in part by public funds, including records created or maintained by private contractors under an agreement with a public governmental body or on behalf of a public governmental body; provided, however, that personally identifiable student records maintained by public educational institutions shall be open for inspection by the parents, guardian or other custodian of students under the age of eighteen years and by the parents, guardian or other custodian and the student if the student is over the age of eighteen years. The term public record shall not include any internal memorandum or letter received or prepared by or on behalf of a member of a public governmental body consisting of advice, opinions and recommendations in connection with the deliberative decision-making process of said body, unless such records are retained by the public governmental body or presented at a public meeting. Any document or study prepared for a public governmental body by a consultant or other professional service as described in this subdivision shall be retained by the public governmental body in the same manner as any other public record[.]. Section.0, RSMo., declares: Show-Me Cannabis Petition

7 1 1. It is the public policy of this state that meetings, records, votes, actions, and deliberations of public governmental bodies be open to the public unless otherwise provided by law. Sections.0 to.0 shall be liberally construed and their exceptions strictly construed to promote this public policy. [emphasis added]. Except as otherwise provided by law, all public meetings of public governmental bodies shall be open to the public as set forth in section.0, all public records of public governmental bodies shall be open to the public for inspection and copying as set forth in sections.0 to.0, and all public votes of public governmental bodies shall be recorded as set forth in section.0.. Put more simply, transparency is the rule for public entities in Missouri. Courts are not at liberty to infer exceptions to this rule; the only permissible exceptions are those established by statute and courts are instructed to construe those exceptions strictly in order to preserve the rule of transparency.. Section.0.1, RSMo., states that [a]ny aggrieved person, taxpayer to, or citizen of, this state may seek judicial enforcement of the requirements of sections.0 to.0.. Section.0., RSMo., states that once a party bringing suit under the Sunshine Law has demonstrated to the court that the body in question is subject to the requirements of sections.0 to.0 and has held a closed meeting, record, or vote, the burden of persuasion will be on the body and its members to demonstrate compliance with the Sunshine Law. [emphasis added]. Section.0., RSMo., states: Upon a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that a public governmental body or a member of a public governmental body has knowingly violated sections.0 to.0, the public governmental body or the member shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount of up to one thousand dollars. If the court finds that there is a knowing violation of sections.0 to.0, the court may order the payment by such body or member of all costs and reasonable attorney fees to any party successfully establishing a violation. The court shall determine the amount of the penalty by taking into account the size of the jurisdiction, the seriousness of the offense, and whether the public governmental body or member Show-Me Cannabis Petition

8 of a public governmental body has violated sections.0 to.0 previously. 0. Section.0., RSMo., states: Upon a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that a public governmental body or a member of a public governmental body has purposely violated sections.0 to.0, the public governmental body or the member shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount up to five thousand dollars. If the court finds that there was a purposeful violation of sections.0 to.0, then the court shall order the payment by such body or member of all costs and reasonable attorney fees to any party successfully establishing such a violation. The court shall determine the amount of the penalty by taking into account the size of the jurisdiction, the seriousness of the offense, and whether the public governmental body or member of a public governmental body has violated sections.0 to.0 previously. 1 Factual Allegations The Forgotten Task Force 1. The General Assembly first authorized the creation of multijurisdictional enforcement groups in. The Plaintiffs do not know when the Task Force began operating, but since at least 0 the Task Force has been receiving public funding through grants disbursed by the Missouri Department of Public Safety.. A number of documents the Task Force has filed with the Missouri Department of Public Safety in relation to grant funding list the organization or applicant agency as St. Louis City, Drug Task Force.. For some time prior to about September,, Defendant Lawson was the Authorized Official responsible for applying for and receiving grant funds from the Missouri Department of Public Safety on behalf of the Task Force.. On or around September,, or September 1,, Defendant Lawson submitted to the Missouri Department of Public Safety a Contract Adjustment on behalf of the Task Show-Me Cannabis Petition

9 1 Force, noting that Defendant Slay would replace Lawson as the Authorized Official for the Task Force and that Defendant Dotson would be the new Project Director for the Task Force.. On that Contract Adjustment form that Lawson filed with the Missouri Department of Public Safety, the organization field is filled in as St. Louis City, Drug Task Force. A copy of this Contract Adjustment form is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit 1.. In November, Malin was conducting research for Show-Me Cannabis on the funding, oversight, accountability, and effectiveness of Missouri s multi-jurisdictional drug task forces, as established under Chapter, RSMo.. Malin discovered that the Missouri Highway Patrol website listed information about all of the multi-jurisdictional drug task forces operating in the state; seeing references to a St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force, Malin decided to do some research on that task force.. On November,, Malin faxed a Sunshine Law request directed to the St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force, requesting information about: 1. The number of narcotics raids carried out by the St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force;. The quantity of weapons and narcotics found during each narcotics raid carried out by the St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force;. The number of shots fired by members of the St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force during narcotics raids;. Determinations of the success or failure of each narcotics raid carried out by the St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force;. Any and all audio or video records of narcotics raids carried out by the St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force;. The most recent yearlong budget of the St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force; and Show-Me Cannabis Petition

10 1. The number of seizures by the St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force, via cases of civil and/or criminal asset forfeiture. A copy of this letter is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit.. On December,, Defendant Lawson responded by to Malin s Sunshine Law request, stating, The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, whose jurisdiction extends over the City of St. Louis, does not have a St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force. Therefore, we have no records responsive to your request. It is possible that St. Louis County Police, which is a separate geographic and political jurisdiction, may have a Drug Task Force. A copy of this is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit. 0. Upon information and belief, when Lawson provided this response and each future response to Malin s Sunshine Law requests, Lawson was acting as the custodian of records for the Task Force. 1. If Lawson was not the designated custodian of records for the Task Force, the Task Force Board violated.0.1, RSMo., by failing to appoint a custodian who is to be responsible for the maintenance of that body s records and/or for failing to notify Malin of who was the custodian of records for the Task Force.. On December,, Malin sent Lawson an pointing out that the Missouri State Highway Patrol website contained a list of task forces in Missouri and that the St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force was on the list, with a phone number provided for that organization. A copy of this is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit.. Malin also noted that the St. Louis County Drug Task Force was listed separately, along with a different phone number. Malin stated that he had called the number listed for the St. Show-Me Cannabis Petition

11 1 Louis Metro Drug Task Force to ask for a fax number to which his Sunshine Law request could be sent; he was given the number to which he had faxed the original request.. On December,, Lawson sent an to Malin stating that the fax number Malin had been given was for the Commander of Special Operations for the Departments North Patrol Division, and that the Commander had advised Lawson that we do not have a St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force. A copy of this is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit.. According to a Contract Adjustment that Defendant Slay sent to the Missouri Department of Public Safety on November,, the Task Force had at some unknown point been absorbed into the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department s Special Operations unit. A copy of this Contract Adjustment is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit.. On December,, Malin sent Lawson a new Sunshine Law request via . A copy of this is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit. The reminded Lawson that Malin was trying to find records related to the organization listed on the Missouri State Highway Patrol website as the St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force, then asked for documents justifying Lawson s claim that the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department does not have a St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force. Malin also requested all documents and records subject to Missouri s Sunshine Law that contain mention of or reference to any or all of the following: 1. St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force. STL Metro Drug Task Force. STL Metro DTF. St. Louis Metro DTF. On January,, Lawson responded with an that claimed, in part, that the phone number listed by the Missouri State Highway Patrol had formerly been assigned to the person Show-Me Cannabis Petition

12 1 who headed up the Department s Narcotics Unit, but that the Department no longer has a separate Narcotics Unit and that the work formerly done by that unit had been tasked to either detectives at the respective regional substations, or the Intelligence Unit. Lawson also stated, I have looked at the Department s Special Orders for the term drug task force, and have found no such verbiage. Nevertheless, I will attempt one more inquiry through a senior employee. But if that s not fruitful, I m not sure how I can produce records of the non-existence of something. A copy of this is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit.. The very next day, January,, a compliance auditor for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department named Tim Sullivan submitted to the Missouri Department of Public Safety a Quarterly Report on behalf of the Task Force identifying the Applicant Agency as St. Louis City, Drug Task Force. A copy of this Quarterly Report is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit.. Upon information and belief, Lawson s January,, response was not made prior to the end of the third business day following the date the request [was] received by the custodian of records for the Task Force. See.0., RSMo. 0. On January,, Malin followed up with an to Lawson, saying, I appreciate your help. At this point, I would like to know if the St. Louis Metro DTF ever existed, and/or when it was operational. A copy of this is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit. 1. On January,, Lawson sent Malin an that read: Aaron, I brought this up to the Chief of Police, which is about as high as I can go, and he has no knowledge of something called the St. Louis DTF ever being in existence, and doesn t know what the Missouri Highway Patrol could be referencing. [emphasis added] A copy of this is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit. Show-Me Cannabis Petition 1

13 1. Upon information and belief, when Lawson sent that on January,, Defendant Dotson was Chief of Police and was also serving as Project Director for the Task Force; less than five months had passed since Lawson had surrendered his role as Authorized Official for the Task Force to Defendant Slay.. After his exchange of s with Lawson, Malin began gathering and reviewing documents from the Missouri Department of Public Safety. Around mid-april,, Malin found among those documents records for the Metro Multi-Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program, some of which also referred to the organization as the St. Louis City Drug Task Force.. On April,, Malin ed Lawson and reminded him that Lawson had claimed no knowledge of a drug task force involving the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Malin then wrote, I was able to acquire records relevant to the nonexistent task force, and on the very first page (see below, you are personally named as the authorized official for a grant for the Metro Multi-Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program which was quite clearly the task force referenced by the Missouri Highway Patrol website (they even had the same listed phone number. How were you possibly unaware of its existence? A copy of this is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit 1.. Lawson did not respond to Malin s of April,.. On June,, Malin sent to Lawson another Sunshine Law request seeking: 1. Any s, documents, and/or records discussing or relating to Sunshine Law requests filed by Aaron Malin; and. Any s, documents, and/or records discussing or relating to conversations between Aaron Malin and Mark Lawson. Show-Me Cannabis Petition

14 . In response to this request, Lawson produced several dozen pages of documents, none of which indicated any communication between Lawson and any person other than Malin himself, with the single exception of an undated note on the letter head of Captain Mary J. Warnecke, Commander, Special Ops, which read Legal We don t have a Metro Task Force. A copy of the note is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit. 1 Failure to Timely Respond to a Request. On November,, Malin ed another Sunshine Law request addressed to Custodian of Records for STL Metro Multi-Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program, seeking [a]ny documents showing meeting minutes from meetings of the Metro Multi-Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program Established Policy Board, Oversight Board, or other governing body that exists to comply with RSMo.0.(. I request all minutes from meetings between January 1 and November. A copy of this is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit.. On November 1,, Malin received a response from Schron Y. Jackson ( Jackson, Public Information Division, Metropolitan Police Department, City of St. Louis, stating that due to a backlog of Sunshine Law requests, the Metropolitan Police Department anticipated being able to respond concerning the availability of records requested sometime during the week of December 1. A copy of this letter is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit. 0. Upon information and belief, by November 1,, Jackson was acting as or under the direction of the Custodian of Records for the Task Force. 1. Despite sending s on November,, and December,, asking for updates as to the status of his requests, Malin did not hear anything else regarding his November Show-Me Cannabis Petition

15 1 1,, Sunshine Law request until December,, when Jackson sent an stating, I ll check on the status of your request and let you know.. Malin then heard nothing further regarding his November 1,, Sunshine Law request until January,, on which date he received an apologizing for the delay and saying, There are no meeting minutes responsive to your request. The Policy Board you referenced was created to comply with the grant requirements, however, they never met or had any meetings. Below is an that set up the Board members. A copy of this is attached as Plaintiffs Exhibit.. Thus, after a delay of nearly two months, the only document the Task Force produced regarding meetings of the Task Force Board was an from November, 1, identifying the Board s membership at that time. COUNT ONE Violations of the Missouri Sunshine Law (Defendants MMUDP, Slay, Dotson, Carson, Jenkerson, Gray, and Lawson. The Plaintiffs incorporate and reallege the allegations contained in the foregoing and following paragraphs of this Petition as if set forth fully herein.. Defendant Metro Multi-Jurisdictional Undercover Drug Program is subject to the provisions of the Missouri Sunshine Law because it is a public governmental body within the definition provided in.0(, RSMo.. The Task Force is a governmental entity created under the authorization of.0.1, RSMo., and pursuant to orders, ordinances, or agreements of political subdivisions of the state, including, but not limited to, St. Louis City Ordinance, passed by the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen on or about February, 01, and Bill, passed by the Maryland Heights City Council on or about September, 0. Show-Me Cannabis Petition

16 1. Upon information and belief, St. Louis City, the City of Maryland Heights, and at least one other unknown County entity have also signed memoranda of understanding with the Task Force, thereby agreeing to cooperate with and/or participate in the Task Force s operations. See Plaintiffs Exhibit (Quarterly Report identifying one city and two county agencies signing MOU with the Task Force.. The Task Force Board is subject to the provisions of the Missouri Sunshine Law because it is a governmental entity whose members are appointed at the direction of political subdivisions of the state, in accordance with.0.(, RSMo., and also because.0.(, RSMo., authorizes the Task Force Board to report to the Missouri Department of Public Safety of Public Safety, which is itself a political subdivision of the state and public governmental entity for the purposes of the Sunshine Law. See.0(, RSMo.. The records Malin requested regarding the St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force are public records under the Missouri Sunshine Law. 0. Section.0.1, RSMo., requires each public governmental body to appoint a custodian to be responsible for the maintenance of that body s records. 1. Failing to appoint a custodian of records is a serious violation of the Sunshine Law because in the absence of such a custodian it is not only unclear to whom members of the public should direct their Sunshine Law requests, but there is the additional concern that the public governmental body s records will be mishandled, misplaced or destroyed because their legal significance is not recognized. The absence of a designated custodian may also drastically increase the cost to citizens of obtaining public records due to the additional time an impromptu custodian will have to spend in their effort to locate requested records, relative to an official custodian familiar with the process. Show-Me Cannabis Petition

17 1. Upon information and belief, the Task Force had not appointed a custodian to be responsible for the maintenance of the Task Force s records prior to April,, and the Task Force may still be in violation of.0.1, RSMo., for failure to appoint a custodian of records.. The Task Force never produced the documents Malin requested in his November,, Sunshine Law request, and the explanation given for failing to produce the documents namely, that the Task Force did not exist was plainly false.. Falsely telling someone seeking records related to a public governmental body that the public governmental body does not exist is one of the most egregious examples imaginable of rejecting the governmental transparency and openness demanded by the Sunshine Law.. In the case of Defendant Lawson, who had recently been the Authorized Officer of the public governmental body at issue and who had been personally legally responsible for accepting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars every year on behalf of that public governmental body, such deception warrants punishment to the fullest extent allowable under the Sunshine Law.. Furthermore, if Defendant Lawson was being truthful when he told Malin that Lawson had spoken to Defendant Dotson who was the Project Director for the Task Force at the time and that Dotson claimed not to know what the Missouri Highway Patrol could be referencing when it provided information regarding a St. Louis Metro Drug Task Force, Defendant Dotson should also suffer the maximum penalty allowable under the Sunshine Law.. The Task Force also violated.0., RSMo., in regard to Malin s November,, Sunshine Law request in that it did not state the place and earliest time and date that the [requested] record [would] be available for inspection. Show-Me Cannabis Petition

18 1. The Task Force s response of November 1,, claiming a backlog of requests cannot satisfy the requirements of.0., RSMo., because the date given to Malin in that response was not the place and earliest time and date that the [requested] record [would] be available for inspection, but in fact was notice that the Task Force did not intend to provide a place and earliest time and date that the [requested] record [would] be available for inspection for roughly another three weeks.. Even if the Sunshine Law permitted public government bodies to put off providing the information required by.0., RSMo., for three weeks, in the instant case the Task Force did not provide Malin any substantive response to his November,, Sunshine Law request until January, nearly two full months after Malin had submitted the request. 0. Section.0, RSMo., requires a public body to provide a reasonable written policy regarding the release of information on any meeting, record or vote, providing that any member or employee of the public governmental body who complies with the written policy will not be guilty of a violation of the Sunshine Law or subject to civil liability for any act arising out of his adherence to the written policy of the agency. 1. Upon information and belief, the Task Force has not adopted any such written policy.. Upon information and belief, neither Defendant Slay, Defendant Dotson, Defendant Carson, Defendant Jenkerson, Defendant Gray, nor Defendant Lawson was at any time relevant to this lawsuit acting pursuant to a reasonable written policy adopted by the Task Force in compliance with.0, RSMo. Show-Me Cannabis Petition

19 1 WHEREFORE the Plaintiffs pray that this Court enter judgment in their favor and against Defendants MMUDP, Slay, Dotson, Carson, Jenkerson, Gray, and Lawson, entering an order and/or judgment that: A. Declares the Task Force to be a public governmental body as defined by the Missouri Sunshine Act; B. Declares the records Malin requested on November,, to be public records under the Sunshine Law and not subject to any exception that would require or permit any Defendant to close the records; C. Finds that Defendant Lawson and/or Defendant Dotson purposely violated the Sunshine Law by falsely claiming not to have knowledge of the Task Force even though Lawson had, up until recently been responsible for accepting public funds on behalf of the Task Force and Defendant Dotson was the Project Director for the Task Force at the time of Malin s November,, request; D. Finds that the Task Force knowingly violated the Sunshine Law by failing to timely respond to Malin s November,, request; E. Finds that the Task Force knowingly violated the Sunshine Law by failing to adopt a reasonable written policy regarding the release of information on any meeting, record or voted related to the Task Force, as required by.0, RSMo. F. Orders the Task Force, Defendant Dotson, and/or Defendant Lawson to pay the Plaintiffs all costs and reasonable attorney fees related to this litigation, plus a civil penalty in the amount of $,000 per violation; and G. Grants to the Plaintiffs such other and further relief as is just and proper. Show-Me Cannabis Petition

20 1 COUNT TWO Violations of the Intergovernmental Drug Laws Enforcement Act (Defendants MMUDP, Slay, Dotson, Carson, Jenkerson, Gray, and Missouri Department of Public Safety. The Plaintiffs incorporate and reallege the allegations contained in the foregoing paragraphs of this Petition as if set forth fully herein.. Under the plain terms of.0, RSMo., a multijurisdictional enforcement group that does not meet the minimum criteria established in that section is not eligible to receive state grants.. Upon information and belief, the Task Force received grants from the Missouri Department of Public Safety in 1,, and, but did not in any of those years meet the minimum criteria established in.0., RSMo.. Section.0.(, RSMo., requires a MEG to be subject to the oversight of a board.. Although the Task Force appears to have told the Missouri Department of Public Safety on November, 1, that it had a four-member Board, upon information and belief, the Task Force Board has never held a meeting.. Upon information and belief, some persons who by law are supposed to be members of the Task Force Board may be unaware of their supposed membership until they receive this Petition.. Upon information and belief, the Task Force Board does not in any real sense oversee the operations of the Task Force as required by.0.(. 0. As a matter of law, a board that never holds any meetings cannot satisfy the statutory requirement for a MEG to be subject to the oversight of a board. 1. Upon information and belief, the Task Force is not treated as a distinct law enforcement group, but rather was absorbed into the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department s Special Show-Me Cannabis Petition

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