Council: All Pertinent Facts Were Released in 911 Error Death

Council: All Pertinent Facts Were Released in 911 Error Death

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- The Municipal Council has reviewed reports and documents related to Scott Aston's death following a mishandled 911 call and it asserts that all substantive facts have been made public.

Meanwhile, talks resumed Wednesday between the city and Aston's family, who have threatened to sue if the city does not respond by Friday to their settlement proposal.

The family has contended the city has refused to release all the documents in the case.

Mayor Lewis Billings on Tuesday allowed the council to review the documents in a closed session.

Afterward, the mayor and council released a statement saying, "After further opportunity to review the facts and documents related to this matter, it is the unanimous position of the municipal council and the mayor that the legal matters relating to the Aston 911 issue involving the city are being prudently handled. All substantive facts and information relating to this case have been released to the public through the media."

The Aston family's attorney, Justin Heideman, said they had hoped new information was available in the reports.

He said they also were surprised by the statement because it was signed by Councilman Steve Turley, who previously expressed frustration that he had not been able to review two key reports and had been suggesting an independent investigation by the council.

Turley said Wednesday that the council had been able to review those reports.

Heideman still wants access to the two reports, one prepared by the city and another by Ogden dispatch experts.

City officials contend they do not have to release the reports because they were prepared in anticipation of litigation and such documents are exempt from disclosure under the Government Records Access Management Act.

City attorneys argue that releasing the two reports was set a bad precedent.

Heideman remained hopeful a settlement could be reached.

"I would hope this is indicative the city is working in good faith to come to a resolution in this matter," he said. "If they meant to say they are working prudently toward a resolution, I agree, but until we have a final response from the city to our proposed settlement offer, I can't agree or disagree.

Aston died Oct. 1 after he called 911 and said he could not breathe. The dispatcher misheard his address and sent emergency crews to the wrong location. Aston was found dead of undetermined cause four days later.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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