Search Results for: 54957 elected

A&A: Does a councilmember use of personal email address mean all messages are exempt?

Q: I was wondering if a city councilmember uses his personal email address as his primary source of contact, lists it on a city’s website as his email address, if any communication done on that email address is still exempt from the California Public Records Act? Is any legislation is coming down the line to address that? A: First of all, there is no rule that e-mail communications regarding the public’s business that are sent

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Defamation and libel in statements to elected officials

Defamation and libel in statements to elected officials Q: Are letters submitted to city council pertaining to an agenda item which contain obvious defamation and libel against a private citizen protected speech? I am a community representative who was the subject of hate speech via two letters, one anonymous and one signed to city council. In addition I was the victim of vandalism at my home during the same week. Considering the message contained in

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A&A: Elected Officials Right to Public Comment

Elected Officials Right to Public Comment Q: Can an elected official (City Councilperson) speak under Oral Communications and claim to do so as a resident? May that official verbally insult residents who have spoken without some consequence to himself? Is there any violation of the Brown Act? How can we the residents protect ourselves and how can we convince the Mayor and Council, who have been intimidated, to take action? What recourse do we have?

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A&A: Should complaints against belligerent councilman be public?

Q: I am a reporter trying to access public records  for two investigations regarding incidents involving a City Councilman — one at a city-owned clubhouse and the other at a local transit agency. Both of my public records requsts have been rejected because officials say it is a personnel matter. In the transit agency’s rejection letter, which is the one I received most recently, it cites California Gov. Code 6254(c)and(k) as well as City of

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A&A: How does the CPRA deal with emails between elected officials

Q: Can email sent by a California Special District elected official to other directors or the district office concerning district business be subject to examination using the Public Records Act? Would it make a difference if he used his personal computer to send an email to another elected official? A: Under California’s Public Records Act, “any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state

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A&A: Are emails sent to elected officials private or public?

Q: Are e-mails sent by residents to the council or other government entities (GE) concerning a hot button issue considered public records? Or are they somehow protected by the ”right to privacy” and beyond public scrutiny? In this case, the GE itself asked residents to send the e-mails and is making policy decisions based on the e-mails. I guess it would seem there could be potential for abuse of the “system” if there were a

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A&A: Can Elected Officials Be Seated in the Audience During Meetings?

A: Are elected officials allowed to sit in the audience while acting in their official capacity during meetings? Q: California has a number of laws addressing government meetings, including the Brown Act (which covers the legislative bodies of local agencies), the Bagley-Keene Act (which covers state executive agencies), and the Grunsky-Burton Open Meeting Act, which covers the State Legislature. If the elected official is a member of the legislative body of a local agency, then the Brown

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Elected officials try to block publication of handgun permits

It’s disturbing that a White Plains, New York newspaper must hire armed security guards to protect its employees against extremists upset that the newspaper published public records of the names and addresses of handgun permit holders. The Journal News, published in a county adjacent to Newtown, Connecticut, site of the school shooting in December, felt it necessary to hire the guards in response to threats over the publication. It’s also a concern that public officials

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A&A: What Are the First Amendment Rights of Elected Officials to Publicly Voice Opinion ?

Q: I am an elected official in the town where I reside. Recently, at the beginning of a Council meeting, after the meeting had been called to order but before any agenda item was undertaken, I made a statement about gun violence and my belief that stricter gun laws are in order. I made clear that the views were my own and not those of the City. A local second amendment rights advocate viewed the

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First Amendment Attorney Duffy Carolan Elected President of FAC Board of Directors

The First Amendment Coalition is pleased to announce the election of Duffy Carolan, an esteemed First Amendment lawyer and longtime board member, as president of FAC’s Board of Directors. Carolan, a former journalist who has spent her career defending the First Amendment, is one of the country’s foremost champions of free speech and access to government information. As a partner at the Jassy, Vick, Carolan firm in San Francisco, Carolan represents a wide range of

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California open government roundup: Concerns over undisclosed deliberations by elected officials

A citizen noted that the entire Salinas City Council convened after a council meeting in a conference room for a late pizza dinner. The city attorney claimed that it was a social gathering, but the citizen noted that under the state’s open meeting law, the Brown Act, any meeting of the council must be placed on the agenda. (The Californian, July 3, 2015, by Wes White) The Rancho Mirage city council has been accused of

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Attorneys Jean-Paul Jassy, Scott Lindlaw elected to FAC board of directors

FAC is pleased to announce the recent election of two first amendment attorneys to its board of directors. Jean-Paul Jassy, a partner in the law firm Jassy Vick Carolan, has often worked with FAC on First Amendment cases. Most recently he represented FAC in a case against the LA County Sheriff for access to visitor logs for one of the LA jail’s high-profile inmates, John Noguez, the embattled LA County Assessor who faces multiple felony

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A&A: Closed sessions under the Brown Act

Closed sessions under the Brown Act Q: Members of my school board choose new members as they leave the board. Can this School Board have closed sessions to discuss and decide which new Board member to elect to the Board or do these have to be public discussions? A: If the board of the public charter school is a “legislative body” under the Brown Act, it is subject to the Brown Act and can discuss

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FAC Writes in Support of Reporter Disparaged By Elected Official Following Public Records Request

The First Amendment Coalition and the Institute for Media and Public Trust of Fresno State today called on a California public official to apologize for insulting a reporter and to take seriously his obligations under open-government laws. The letter to Tom Wheeler, a member of the Madera County Board of Supervisors, comes after Wheeler responded to a reporter’s public records request with, “To hell with her” followed by an insult. Wheeler’s email, documented in an

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A&A: District Hospitals and Closed Sessions

District Hospitals and Closed Sessions Q: The CEO and the COO for a District Hospital are provided to the Hospital by the management company that contracted with the district. The CEO and COO are being paid by the management company not by the Hospital or District. The CEO and COO are also the president and vice president of the management company. The District is about to have a closed session to evaluate the CEO and

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AG Opinion #97-1207 Participation by elected officials in committee meetings when they aren’t members (1998)

ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OPINION  97–1207 April 29, 1998 THE HONORABLE QUENTIN L. KOPP, MEMBER OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE, has requested an opinion on the following questions: 1. May members of the legislative body of a local public agency ask questions or make statements while attending a meeting of a standing committee of the legislative body “as observers”? 2. May members of the legislative body of a local public agency sit in special chairs on the

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A&A: Circumstances for closed meetings

Circumstances for closed meetings Q: For what reasons can a legislative body have a closed meeting? A: Meetings of any “legislative body” of a “local agency” as those terms are defined in California Government Code sections 54592 and 549451, respectively, may hold closed sessions for the following reasons: —To discuss and decide whether an applicant for a license or license renewal who has a criminal record is sufficiently rehabilitated to obtain the license (Gov’t Code

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Wired.com Editor Hansen elected president of FAC board; media attorney Melamed is VP; Gingras, of Google, joins Board.

The First Amendment Coalition is pleased to announce that Wired.com Editor in Chief Evan Hansen has been elected President of FAC’s board of directors. He takes over from John Raess,  San Francisco Bureau Chief for the Associated Press, who had served as President of the Board since 2010. Carol Melamed, media attorney and former counsel to the Washington Post, has been elected Vice President of the FAC board of directors.  She and Hansen will serve

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80 Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 308 School Superintendent Hiring Committee Not Subject to Open Meeting Law (1997)

Office of the Attorney General State of California 80 Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 308 Opinion No. 97-414 November 10, 1997 THE HONORABLE MIKE THOMPSON MEMBER OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE THE HONORABLE MIKE THOMPSON, MEMBER OF THE CALIFORNIA STATE SENATE, has requested an opinion on the following question: Where the board of trustees of a school district has formed a committee, known as the district liaison council, consisting of eight representatives from the community, seven

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AG Opinion #97-414 Closed Session for Advisory Committee on Personnel (1997)

AG Opinion No. 97-414 Brown Act: Closed Session for Advisory Committee on Personnel OPINION of DANIEL E. LUNGREN, Attorney General; ANTHONY DaVIGO, Deputy Attorney General In the Office of the Attorney General of the State of California filed November 10, 1997, the Honorable Mike Thompson, member of the California State Senate, has requested an opinion on the following question: Where the board of trustees of a school district has formed a committee, known as the

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