A woman who secretly taped Clinton Human Rights Commission meetings has lost another round in court. Luanna Wells of Clinton sued the Mayor of Clinton and several members of the city’s Human Rights Commission, of which she was a member. Wells hid a recorder in her purse and taped Commission meetings. When that secrecy was discovered by other commission members, they adopted a resolution to prohibit commission members from privately taping the meetings. Wells says she has a problem with her wrist and it’s difficult for her to take notes. Wells says she was discriminated against because of her disability. The Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled everyone has a right to “openly” record public meetings, but upheld the Human Rights Commission’s “no secret taping” resolution, noting that “secretly recording the affairs” of a “public commission seems an affront to the orderly conduct of the commission meetings.” As you may recall, there was a secret taping flap during this past year’s Iowa Senate race during which a former aide to Senator Tom Harkin taped a private fundraising pitch made by Harkin’s opponent. Des Moines cops and federal investigators determined no laws were broken in that case, and no charges were filed.
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