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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.

To read letter to Ms. Greuel click here.

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 65 days.

The letter stated, “The California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) requires that you provide a written determination regarding whether the records are disclosable public records. Further, the records must then be without unnecessary delay. The only additional time for response provided by the CPRA is set forth in Government Code section 6253(c), which allows for a 14-day extension under very specified circumstances, none of which seem to be present here.

It is now over two months since my client’s requests, yet, no public records have been produced.

In order to avoid further legal action, we must receive a response no later than Tuesday, April 2, 2013, agreeing to provide the records by April 5, 2013. Should you fail to respond or fail to agree to produce the records my client has requested by April 5th, we will be forced to consider additional legal options, including filing an action to compel disclosure of the requested records, and for recovery of the attorneys fees that my client has been forced to expend in this matter.”

“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.”

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.”