As of Thursday, Delaware County Judge Barry Denney had not made a decision on a matter regarding a possible violation of the Open Records Act.
The case, a civil matter between Gold Fields Mining and John Sparkman, director of the Picher Housing Authority, was moved to Delaware County after two Ottawa County judges recused themselves.
Gold Fields Mining filed a lawsuit in January accusing Sparkman of refusing repeated written requests for public documents from May 23, 2006, to date, court records indicate.
The mining company is seeking records related to Sparkman's sideline job as a consultant creating a video production for the Speer Law Firm of Kansas City, Mo.
That video was created as evidence in federal cases where numerous Picher families, as well as the the Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, have sued mining companies for health problems attributed to environmental contamination within the Tar Creek Superfund site.
Gold Fields is also seeking any records related to restrictions the federal Housing and Urban Development agency or the authority might have on executive directors of local housing authorities. In a statement presented to the court, Gold Fields requested not only the division of time the executive director spent at each job, but also “any documents reflecting any investigation into any potential conflict of interest or breach of obligation to the housing authority by Mr. Sparkman arising from that relationship.”
In a sworn affidavit filed in the case, Sparkman contended that the housing authority was a federal entity, therefore he was only required to comply with requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
According to Judge Denney's office, it may be next week before a final decision is made.