RATES RATES   _______________________________________

Socialize

L.A. Mayoral Hopeful Wendy Greuel Delays Public Records Release to LCCN

By Brian Hews

Los Angeles City Controller and Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel has once again delayed the release of two public records requests submitted January 22 and 23, 2013 by Los Cerritos Community Newspaper and now appears to be in violation of state statutes.

The delay has reached 57 days.

The requests were made by LCCN under the California Public Records Act (CPRA). In the request, LCCN is seeking all emails and written correspondence between Greuel and Brian D’Arcy, head of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers #17, political consultant John Shallman, owner of Shallman Communications and chief political operative to Greuel’s Mayoral campaign, and Greuel for Mayor Campaign Manager Rose Kapolczynski.

An additional request asked for all emails pertaining to Investigative Reporter Randy Economy.

Under the CPRA, Greuel had 10 days to comply or ask for an extension.

On Feb 14th, 24 days later, her office sent an email to LCCN asking for more time, but did not provide an ample explanation as required by law, and that the request would not be done until March 14, nine days after the city primary election for mayor.

“If Greuel did not adhere to the March 14 deadline, her office was required to send another request for extension via email and USPS to LCCN. Nothing has been submitted as of Thursday March 21,” Hews said.

LCCN called Greuel’s office beginning March 14 and left several messages and have also requested an interview with the Mayoral hopeful on at least three occasions during this period.  The lone response given to LCCN took place on March 15, last Friday, with a representative saying, “We will get back to you (LCCN) ASAP.”

“The public records act is very clear about its deadlines,” said Peter Scheer, Executive Director of the First Amendment Coalition. “This is particularly true when the request for records potentially relates to a candidate’s fitness for office or to the issues in a political campaign. It is extremely important that the deadlines in the law be strictly observed.”

“Under the California Public Records Act, this type of delay is absolutely impermissible, said Kelly Aviles a well-respected CPRA attorney with offices in La Verne. ” Our public employee and officials are the holders of the public’s information.  Yet so often, as in this instance, they forget that retrieval of public records is their responsibility and not just some favor.”

“Wendy Greuel is not above the law, and cannot hide from members of the media,” said Hews in a statement.

“Greuel withheld giving Los Cerritos Community Newspaper her city calendar for more than six months, and when we finally received it the documents showed that she was spending part of her time campaigning and fund-raising on taxpayer time including assigning Controller staff to such activities during business hours,” Hews said.

“This is very strange behavior from someone who claims to run a tight ship and, as Mayor, claims she can “straighten out Los Angeles.” It is a very simple request, if you have a Google gmail account you can find any email within seconds by typing the recipients name in the search bar, why is she taking so long?

2 Responses to L.A. Mayoral Hopeful Wendy Greuel Delays Public Records Release to LCCN