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California open government roundup: Voice of OC wins legal costs in public record dispute

The Orange County Board supervisors is paying the Voice of OC $121,396 in legal fees after the news outlet secured a court order for the release of public records about a supervisor’s handcuffing a preacher at a fish taco restaurant. (Voice of OC, August 9, 2017, by Nick Gerda)

A citizens group alleges that the Bakersfield City Council violated the Brown Act, California’s open meeting  act, when it cancelled an energy-efficiency financing program in July by a vote of 6-0. The Checks and Balances Project claims that the decision to cancel the program came after a series of contacts between a realtors association and council members so that the council came to their decision out of public view. (Bakersfield.com, July 31, 2017, by James Burger)

The Tulare Local Healthcare District directors conducted some important business at their meeting on July 27, to tighten control on decisions to secure loans and to terminate their legal counsel. But the hospital administrators said that one of the three directors, newly elected, had not yet been certified so the directors’ actions were not legitimate. (Valley Voice, July 27, 2017, by Tony Maldonado)

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Madera County supervisors claiming they changed the county jail’s relationship with ICE in a closed meeting in violation with the Brown Act.  (The Madera Tribune, July 19, 2017, by John Rieping)

After a number of disruptions at city council meeting, Upland is warning the public that the police will intervene to remove unruly citizens. The change in tone is necessary the council says to uphold the Brown Act and open meetings. Citizens have been unhappy since last November when public comment on non agenda items was moved from the start to the end of meetings. (Indian Valley Daily Bulletin, July 16, 2017, by Liset Marquez)

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