West Valley City says no to release of Powell police records

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WEST VALLEY CITY — Citing concern for an ongoing criminal investigation, city officials Tuesday denied an appeal by the family of Susan Cox Powell to release documents related to the police investigation into her disappearance.

But Seattle attorney Anne Bremner has promised to file a civil lawsuit against the city if the records are not released.

West Valley City Councilman Corey Rushton announced the city's decision after a special closed session of the council Tuesday.

After viewing (the records), it was very apparent to us that releasing them at this time could reasonably be expected to hamper an ongoing investigation.

–Corey Rushton, West Valley City councilman

"After viewing them, it was very apparent to us that releasing them at this time could reasonably be expected to hamper an ongoing investigation," Rushton said.

The City Council reached its decision unanimously, he said.

Rushton declined to comment on the threat of a lawsuit against the city or the state of West Valley City's investigation into Powell's disappearance, instead saying the City Council was only concerned with Bremner's public records request.

"Our hopes and our prayers are with the ultimate resolution of this, for answers and for some form of justice for the families," Rushton said. "We, as a City Council, as a West Valley government, can appreciate anybody petitioning government for a redress of grievances."

One week ago, Bremner traveled to Utah to make a third and final plea to City Council members for unredacted police records to be handed over so Chuck and Judy Cox, the parents of Susan Powell, could review them.

Powell has been missing since December 2009 and is presumed dead. Her husband, Josh Powell, was being investigated by police in connection with his wife's disappearance when in February he killed himself and murdered their young sons, Charlie and Braden.

Contributing: Shara Park and Jennifer Stagg

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