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LCCN to File Court Order Compelling Wendy Greuel to Turn Over Public Records

By Brian Hews

LCCN has retained La Verne Attorney Kelly Aviles to file a Petition for Writ of Mandate, which seeks a court order compelling Wendy Greuel to comply with her obligations under the California Public Records Act.

Los Cerritos Community Newspaper sent two requests January 22 and 23, 2013 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.

The delay has now reached 58 days.

The case will be filed downtown, where it will be assigned to one of three superior court judges that is dedicated to hearing these types of cases. Attorney Aviles said, “Under the CPRA, these cases are entitled to priority, and states that the times for responsive pleadings and for hearing in these proceedings shall be set by the judge of the court with the object of securing a decision as to these matters at the earliest possible time.”

Aviles went on to say, “Based on what Mr. Hews has told me, Ms. Greuel’s withholding of these documents is not permitted  under the CPRA. This type of delay is absolutely impermissible.  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. Given the numerous scandals relating to public corruption that have occurred throughout our state, we feel strongly that secrecy has no place in our government.”

Under the CPRA, Greuel had 10 days to comply with the January requests 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 to LCCN as of Friday March 22.

“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 candidates fitness for office or to the issues in a political campaign. It is extremely important that the deadlines in the law be strictly observed.”

“This is very strange behavior from someone who claims to run a tight ship and, as Mayor, claims she can “straighten out Los Angeles,” Hews said. “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?”

 

 

 

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8 Responses to LCCN to File Court Order Compelling Wendy Greuel to Turn Over Public Records

  1. Victor Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I would like to see LCCN standing on the Gay marriage issues. Don’t be a Monday morning quarter backer.

  2. Public Information is "Public Information" Reply

    March 24, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Below are some great public resources, related to public records request, for LCCN to link on their website.

    Your paper does a great job of reporting on the government/political abuses. How about writing a series of articles informing readers how the process works and how to do their own request, from start to finish?

    Get the community involved!

    Hold government officials accountable!

    Summary of California Public Records Act can be found here:
    ag.ca.gov/publications/summary_public_records_act.pdf

    The following in helpful for the average citizen. Located on the FAP website.
    www.thefirstamendment.org/capra.html

    Summary Brochure (see below for excerpt) can be found here:
    www.thefirstamendment.org/publicrecordsact.pdf

    IF YOUR REQUEST IS DENIED
    •Keep a log of to whom you speak and the stated reason for the denial.
    •Employ the following six-step DENIAL strategy:
    D = Discretionary: Exemptions are permissive, never mandatory. Ask the agency if it will waive the exemption and release the record.
    E = Explanation: Insist that the agency explain in a written denial why the exemption applies to the requested record.
    N = Narrow Application:The Act favors access. Exemptions must be narrowly construed.
    I = Isolate: Request the release of any non-exempt portions of the record.
    A = Appeal:State your rights, using this guide,
    and ask to speak to a higher agency official.
    L = Lawsuit: File suit to enforce your rights.
    If you win, the agency must pay your costs and legal fees. (§ 6259(d)); Belth v. Garamendi 232 Cal.App.3d 896 (1991).
    •Write a news story or Letter to the Editor about
    the denial.
    •Consult your supervisor or lawyer, or contact one of the groups listed on this brochure.

    • Randy Economy Reply

      March 24, 2013 at 7:30 am

      We totally agree with your note and advice!

      Los Cerritos Community Newspaper will continue to serve as THE VOICE for our community in order to ensure an open and accountable government at ALL levels.

      This is why LOCAL COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS such as Los Cerritos Community Newspaper need to EXPAND and THRIVE in our society.

      Randy Economy
      Investigative Reporter
      On Line Editor
      Los Cerritos Community Newspaper

  3. FLF Reply

    March 23, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Go for it guys..!! This corrupt retarded progressive socialist liberal MUST have something to hide.. otherwise this kind of record should have been open and transparent. If she stonewalls it long enough, facts will NOT come out till AFTER the election and it will be too late to change outcomes! She is banking on that. The city of LA desperately needs firm ADULT LEADERSHIP after terms by one of the worst mayors in LA history, Tony Villa La Raza! He has driven the city into near bankruptcy and will NOT BE MISSED! But his legacy will not be..

    Barrack O’Fraud did that in 2008 and again in 2012. He hoodwinked an entire nation, and now for generations to come…

  4. LAer Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    @Poochy, uh, it’s pretty clear they are asking for records from her OFFICIAL office as City Controller. Because if any records show her political campaign working through her official office that would be a violation of city ethics rules.

    • Poochy Reply

      March 23, 2013 at 8:16 am

      So this is basically a fishing expedition. You’re asking for something that probably doesn’t exist, but if it did, it would be an ethics violation. No judge on earth would grant such a court order against a public official without some probable cause. Your suspicions are not sufficient. But go ahead, knock yourselves out!

      • LCCN Reply

        March 23, 2013 at 10:10 am

        You are missing the point. She is not complying with the CPRA, she is breaking the law. Under the CPRA you have 24 days to respond or give a VERY good reason for delay, they have done neither. It is a very easy request, there must be many documents that match the request or they would have handed them over already yes?….something is going on. She did this to us when we requested her calendar and broke the news she was campaigning on taxpayer time. We were the first to report that in LA.

  5. Poochy Reply

    March 22, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Since when does a political campaign have to yield to a public records request? These are not public records. Otherwise, Obama could have forced Romney to give over private emails, and visa versa. Sounds like you don’t have a leg to stand on, guys.

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