Aug 19, 2010

"Nixonian dragnet" in L.A. County

Open-government activist and attorney Terry Francke has penned a blistering column chastising the L.A. County Board of Supervisors for launching an investigation into leaks to the L.A. Times about the county's troubled child welfare agency.

Francke writes:
...the state’s largest county, which may be doing the state’s worst job in child welfare, is reacting to newspaper reports on the heartbreaking results of its failures by loosing the hounds to find who in its ranks furnished reporters with the facts.  In blithe dismissal of the Brown Act, the board of supervisors majority even initially used an unlawful closed session to hear, discuss and approve top bureaucrats’ request for the witch hunt.

The pretext for this Nixonian dragnet is that laws for the protection of minors’ privacy have been violated. While that may or may not be the case, the question pales beside the issue of whether those laws are anything more but a pious cover for the most secretive and potentially destructive archipelago of government power in today’s society—the joined-at-the-hip realm of the juvenile dependency court and child welfare systems.

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