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Home / Fight over Riverdale security video ends with payout
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By Kurt Allemeier
Quad City Times
The final chapter of a nearly four-year Freedom of Information Act tussle over security camera video ended last week with the city of Riverdale agreeing to pay more than $100,000 in legal costs.
Ahead of a court hearing Friday, Riverdale agreed to pay $100,385.60 to Allen Diercks to cover the cost of legal action at the district and appellate court levels stretching to April 2008. The case started when Diercks and others asked for City Hall security video.
The city previously paid additional awards totaling $42,000 over Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act challenges brought by Diercks, Marie Randol and Tammie Picton in 2008 and 2006.
The security video was recorded in April 2008, when Diercks and Randol went to pick up public records they had requested and to file a request for more records. During the visit, a conversation between Diercks and then-Mayor Jeff Grindle became confrontational.
When Diercks, Randol and Picton requested a copy of the video, the city - following the advice of the security company that installed the video system and its attorney - sought a declaratory judgment from Scott County District Court to clarify whether the video was a public record.
At one point after the confrontation, Grindle showed the security video to a Quad City Times reporter.
The trio won at a three-day trial in Scott County District Court in 2009, but the city appealed the decision. In its ruling in November, the Iowa Supreme Court justices said the video was no longer confidential after the mayor shared it with a reporter.