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El Rancho USD Dodging Public Records Request Pertaining to Ernie Camacho and Pacifica Services

By Brian Hews

In violation of the California Public Records Act, El Rancho Unified School District has once again delayed a public records request by Hews Media Group-Community News sent June 19 of this year, with the District now saying the records will be available Aug. 1, 43 days after the request.

The request was not large and asked for emails between ERUSD Board Members and its administrative staff and Pacifica Services. It also asked for all checks written to that company since 2005. ERUSD has only dealt with Pacifica twice in that time span.

Under the CPRA, public organizations have 10 days to fulfill a request. If they cannot meet the request, an extension must be filed on the 10th day. The organization has 14 days after that to answer the request.

In sending the first response July 1, 2013, ERUSD violated the ten-day deadline when it did not answer the request within the required time. ERUSD did however ask for the 14-day extension, pushing the date to July 13.

The district sent another letter July 15 stating that the records will not be available until Aug. 1. The letter ended with “if there is any delay, we will notify you with a revised date.” ERUSD also stated they will charge a usurious .50 cents per page for copying.

Not answering the request on the 24th day is a violation of the Section 6253 (c) of the CPRA that states, “ Each agency, upon a request for a copy of records, shall, within 10 days from receipt of the request, determine whether the request seeks copies of disclosable public records. In unusual circumstances, the time limit may be extended by written notice, setting forth the reasons for the extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be dispatched. No notice shall specify a date that would result in an extension for more than 14 days.

HMG-CN received information in June of this year about Ernie Camacho and his company Pacifica Services as it relates to alleged sub-standard services rendered to ERUSD. The information also implicates current ERUSD Board Members who might have knew of the sub-standard work but ignored warnings.

Sources tell HMG-CN that the reason for the delay is not because they have voluminous records to search through but that the request could reveal negligence against board members who are running for re-election.