Asked & Answered

A&A: Can businesses ban Google Glass?

Q: Can businesses ban customers from wearing Google Glass while on their premises? So, not simply banning video recording, but the actual wearing of the device. A: I cannot think of any reason why a business could not prohibit its customers from wearing Google Glass on their premises, except that it probably could not do […]

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A&A: School Superintendent Goals: Public or Private?

Q: School Superintendent Goals: Public or Private? Under the Brown Act, does a school board have the obligation to disclose the goals they set for the district superintendent of schools? Similarly, do they have the obligation to disclose the evaluation criteria for the superintendent of schools? The evaluation criteria for teachers is in the public […]

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A&A: Is gender of foster care staff public information?

Q: We are investigating sexual abuse in a foster care shelter. We requested the gender for two staff members because they have ambiguous names. The county asserted that Section 6254(c), the personnel records exceptions applies. Staffing decisions at the facility are made based on gender (male staff members are not supposed to oversee female resident’s baths), which […]

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A&A: Redaction of investigative report

Q:  An outside attorney is employed to investigate a city council member. The client is the city council. May the attorney redact information and not provide the client with the entire file? The outside attorney heavily redacted a report and will not permit members of the city council to review the entire file. The city […]

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A&A: Can TSA deny company public information under FOIA?

Q:  I’ve got something that just smells really fishy and I’m thinking there’s something more to it. My company forecasts when places are busy, then shares the results with the public. One vertical where we’ve had good adoption has been in airports, where we forecast TSA wait times at the top 100 US airports. In fact, […]

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A&A: City Hall withholding excessive water users’ ID info

Q: I cover city council meetings for a weekly newspaper in Northern California. City Hall will not release names or addresses for those exceeding city water rationing requirements. The city is in a declared water emergency. I can get a list of high users identified as residential or business water users like motels or restaurants, but […]

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A&A: Are letters to legislators public?

Q: Yesterday I asked a California Senate committee for copies of the opposition letters they received regarding an active bill and shortly thereafter they faxed seven letters to me. So far so good, but on three of the letters the identity of the writer was redacted. (The other four letters were from organizations, and their identities […]

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A&A: Urgent meeting scheduled for July 4 seemed to circumvent the public process

Q: Our municipality has filed for bankruptcy. As part of this ongoing nonsense the town officials have been doing what ever they can to be sneaky and underhanded. Recently they held a special meeting on July 4. The meeting was to transfer money from a special tax fund for a purpose specifically excluded from use by the bond measure. […]

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A&A: City Councilmembers texting each other while deliberating

Q: Can a city council members in CA engage in text message/emailing while deliberating over an appeal brought by an applicant (CEQA Doc) after his application failed at the planning commission level? A: If I understand correctly, you are asking whether a city council member can text or email other city council members over an […]

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A&A: State university won’t disclose student cafeteria workers’ pay

Q: I’m a  journalist at a state university where our student cafeteria came under fire from the administration over a party they’d hosted. A source told me that the student managers of the cafeteria were suspended without pay. I contacted the accounting department to request how much those students were paid per week over the past 2 months. […]

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