California open government roundup: District attorney exposes Brown Act violation in Garden Grove

The Orange County District Attorney’s office reported that the Garden Grove officials settled a dispute with a former fire chief in closed sessions without reporting the details of the meetings. The chief resigned after the city agreed to create a new job for him with a salary about the same as his salary as chief. (The Orange County Register, February 24, 2016, by Chris Haire)

Los Altos officials suspended meetings of their parking committee to review charges that several members of the committee violated the Brown Act, the state’s open meeting law, by using “subterfuge” to discuss town business outside public notice. (Los Altos Town Crier, February 24, 2016, by Alicia Castro)

Vallejo is facing a decision over whether to allow a company to remain in the competition to develop the Concord Naval Weapons Station after a report found that the company had breached protocol by lobbying a former mayor.  An investigation of the issue turned up a violation of the Brown Act that prohibits serial meetings. (Contra Costa Times, February 19, 2016, by Lisa P. White)

A local newspaper is criticizing the Hollister City Council  for alleged violations of the Brown Act. The council listed an agenda item “Goals and Objectives” for a special meeting without adequately describing the items up for consideration. They also failed to provide 24 hours notice for the special meeting. (Free Lance News, February 7, 2016, by Kollin Kosmicki)

A former San Jose vice mayor testified recently in court over an alleged Brown Act violation over the naming of a Vietnamese business district. Madison Nguyen is accused of lining up votes outside of public view for the name “Saigon Business District” when many in the community favored naming the district “Little Saigon.” (San Jose Mercury News, February 4, 2016, by Ramona Giwargis)

A group of citizens in Hesperia are alleging that the city council violated the Brown Act in failing to provide adequate public notice for a meeting and using an agenda for a January 26 meeting identical to the one used for January 16. The council was meeting to approve a development project. (Victorville Daily Press, February 4, 2016, by Rene Ray De La Cruz)