Oct 21, 2008

'I am not impressed by you'

In a letter that's just begging to become an exhibit in a court case, former reporter Chris Bray responds to the foot dragging of LA Impact attorney Christy O'Donnell in filling his request for some basic public records from the agency.

This might be the first time that the countywide narcotics task force has been asked to turn over public documents since Bray and government watchdog Richard McKee won a court order requiring LA Impact to come out of the shadows and comply with California's open-records and open-meetings laws.

Bray writes:
I requested public documents from your client, a public agency. State law gives public agencies ten days to respond to such requests. L.A. Impact received my request -- my second request, by the way -- on September 9, 2008 (see enclosed photocopy of U.S. Postal Service "Domestic Return Receipt," labeled as Document 1). Your letter of October 14 begins, "This letter will confirm our receipt of your correspondence, dated September 8, 2008..." (see enclosed photocopy of your October 14 letter, labeled as Document 2). No explanation for your delayed response follows. Should I wish to argue that L.A. Impact does not comply with the terms of the California Public Records Act, your own letter serves as the plainest evidence of that fact.

-snip-

[O]n Wednesday, October 15, 2008, we exchanged email in which I asked for an appointment this week to review public records at your client's office. You responded at 9:36 a.m. on that day that you would contact your client and arrange such an appointment for me. It is now 8:45 a.m. on Monday, October 20, and I have not heard from you. You had most of the day Wednesday, and all of Thursday and Friday, to arrange an appointment at a public agency to review simple public records that should be easily available.I am requesting an opportunity to review the recent agendas and minutes of a local legislative body, a set of records that any City Clerk in the state would instantly provide to me over the counter without an appointment. This is not hard.

I am not impressed by you. Do your job.

Any reporter who's faced a public agency's clumsy stonewalling will feel a tinge of recognition in reading the entire correspondence between Bray and O'Donnell.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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