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Deadline Looms For Wendy Greuel to Produce Public Records To Los Cerritos Community Newspaper


Wendy Greuel

Wendy Greuel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Attorneys for Los Cerritos Community News fired back at Wendy Greuel’s office, her now 87-day refusal to submit to a public records request and her highly unusual threat to sue LCCN for the request, by demanding the public documents be delivered by this Friday, April 19.

The January 23 requests asked for any emails between Brian D’Arcy head of the powerful IBEW and a huge campaign contributor, campaign managers John Shallman, and Rose Kapolczynski and only Greuel for two years between Jan 2011 and Jan 2013.

The second request asked for emails between 12 people, LCCN, and only Greuel, with a time frame of only two weeks, Jan 11, 2013 to Jan 22, 2013.

Greuel’s initial letter to LCCN “took issue with the assertions…and under no circumstances is our office delaying records, your conclusion is inaccurate and unfounded.” It went on to say that the request “was voluminous” could be “tens of thousands of documents.”

LCCN pointed out that, given the content of the letter, Greuel was admitting to voluminous correspondence with the head of the IBEW, a huge campaign contributor and her two campaign directors presumably during regular business hours.

Greuel’s letter ended with the threat of a counter-suit, “please be informed that if you do pursue litigation on or after April 5, given the imminent time thereafter that we estimate your records will be ready, we will ask the court to declare your case to be clearly frivolous and seek to have your client pay our court costs and attorneys fees as would be required under the same Government Code section.

LCCN attorneys said, “there is no attorney fees for a prevailing parties in California. Greuel is completely barred from any counter suit under the Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP – Code of Civ. Pro Section 425.16). Greuel can file the lawsuit, but it will get kicked out after we make a motion to have it dismissed.”

In the second letter back to Greuel, Aviles basically called Greuel and her office liars saying, “once you had conducted the search you could have informed my client. As your first letter indicates, your office has not even completed the search.  Regardless of whether the delay is an intentional obstruction of the public or simply a negligent dereliction of your legal requirements, the law does not differentiate.” 

Aviles went on, “ the law related to when you are required to provide a response and records is not as you state.  Because you must make a determination whether it seeks disclosable public records, it stands to reason that if you are not going to disclose public records, you must state so at this time.  This could only be done if a search for and initial basic review of documents had already been completed. 

LCCN Publisher Brian Hews said,  “she probably won’t produce the documents by April 19. It is my guess that once we file suit and seek discovery regarding exactly what was done in response to our request, Greuel’s statement that many employees in our office have been working diligently to produce the non-exempt responsive records will prove to be untrue.”

The letter ended by saying LCCN will wait until Friday, April 19 but said, “please be informed that further delays will not be tolerated.  If we do not receive the records in our office by April 19th at 5 p.m., we will be filing suit, with no further correspondence to follow.”

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