While Representative Bernie Hunhoff (D-18/Yankton) has asked the Board of Regents to release all of its files pertaining to the Darley v. SDIBI litigation (and while I'd be happy for now just to get Darley's 17.5-hour deposition of Joop Bollen), Mr. Montgomery and that Sioux Falls paper are taking another tack, asking the Board of Regents for the Conflicts of Interest Disclosure forms that Bollen would have signed during his Regental employment from 1994 (or whenever the Regents implemented this paperwork) through 2009.
The Regents have said nope:
...the Board of Regents rejected the Argus Leader's open records request, saying an exemption in South Dakota's open records law protects them from disclosing those documents.
Bollen's forms, Regents general counsel Jim Shekleton wrote in a letter, are "personnel information" and thus not subject to required public disclosure.
South Dakota law makes all government documents public records but includes a long list of exceptions. Among those documents not required to be disclosed are "personnel information other than salaries and routine directory information."
"The documents that you request are not public records," Shekleton wrote [David Montgomery, "Regents Deny Bollen Conflict-of-Interest Forms Request," that Sioux Falls paper, 2014.10.01].
We don't necessarily need Bollen's conflict-of-interest forms to recognize that he did indeed have a conflict of interest when he signed a no-bid contract assigning the duties the state was paying him to do at NSU to SDRC Inc., his own newly formed private company, in January 2008. Seeing the form Bollen handed the Regents would simply reveal whether Bollen compounded his sins by concealing them, or whether the Regents knew full well what Bollen was doing.
I appreciate the Regents' respect for the privacy of their employees. Certain personnel information should remain private, between employer and employee. But the Regents could satisfy the public interest without revealing any new information. Bollen's ownership of SDRC Inc. and any other corporation is a matter of public record. The Regents could release the conflict-of-interest forms with any private information (like Social Security number or employer ID numbers) redacted but leave the names of the corporations Bollen mentioned, if any. Care to reconsider, Regents?