Tuesday, June 07, 2011

I don't get it.

From Fire Chief Muir, this week:
There was no intent to hide information concerning misconduct within the Department... The City could not officially comment on these cases of misconduct until it was determined that doing so would not violate individuals’ rights. Care was taken with the release of this information—which Mr. Meiche unfortunately characterizes as a “cover up”.

Below is a response by the city to a records request.


In February, Muir indicated that he would not be releasing information on the incidents and on March 9 the city informed the press that it HAD deliberated on the request for information on the misconduct and the answer was, NO. No you can't see it.

Muir's statement, above, appears to be misleading by leaving out that the city was refusing to release information or discuss the problems. Can anyone reconcile the inconsistency? If not, I'd say its fair to describe the situation as the city was trying to cover up the problems and hoping questions would simply go away.

Well, Calaware won in court and helped "educate" the city that the records should be released. I wonder why none of this was mentioned in Muir's story.

It sure is easy to hide problems when the city violates the open government laws.

18 comments:

  1. California law states:

    With respect to disciplinary records of public employees, California courts have held that there is a strong public policy against disclosure of such records if the investigation revealed that the charges were groundless.
    (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees v. Regents of the University of California, 80 Cal. App. 3d 913, 918 (1978))

    However,

    “where the charges are found true, or discipline is imposed, the strong public policy against disclosure vanishes. . . .” (Id.). “Where complaints of a public employee’s wrongdoing and resulting disciplinary investigation reveal allegations of a substantial nature, as distinct from baseless or trivial, and there is reasonable cause to believe the complaint is well founded, public employee privacy must give way to the public’s right to know.” (Bakersfield City School District v. Superior Court of Kern County, 118 Cal. App. 4th 1041, 1045 (2004)).

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  2. Well that's good Steve, as I just sent a public records request to the LAFD to see what goes on there. I am sure they will respond within 10 days with the appropriate information. I will keep everyone posted on this.

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  3. Lorri
    Let me assist you..

    http://www.ci.la.ca.us/lafd/reports.htm

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  4. Dr. L,

    You are coming across as Muir's attack poodle trying to bite the messenger.

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  5. Steve-Already did it but thanks.
    Starman-Whatever you want to think works for me.

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  6. Lorri,

    Was Muir covering up?

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  7. More Cover Up... or Lies

    Muir stated in his blog post:

    "I take such incidents very seriously and have in the past approved the termination of employees for misconduct or failure to meet our standards."

    There were no termination notices or investigations of misconduct, corrective actions that included terminations included in the documents that the city surrendered.

    As I stated before the documents received from the city were incomplete and full of omissions.

    Something stinks here and it's not the dog poop at Orpheus park.

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  8. Starman- Since Kevin and Steve have the report, and I do not, I guess you will have to ask them. I have not been able to get over to City Hall for a copy of the report. As soon as I do I will let you know.
    BTW, Any person can do a public records request. All you have to do is email the City Clerk of Encinitas and request what you want. If you need help with the wording I will be more than happy to tell you how to do it. However, you can see it on this post. Wehtahnah Tucker's Public Request Information is all you need to do. It might be interesting for some of you who have doubts about our fire dept. I don't, so I haven't rushed over there to pick it up. Wish I could answer better than that, but in the end, each person is going make their own decisions about both me and the fire dept. However, I cannot stand by and watch 2 people I care about, Maggie Houlighan, and Mark Muir get trashed by this blog and say nothing, as much as I wish I could.Perhaps it's the old hippie still left in me. There are some very important issues out there folks, such as "where is the Hall property money", and why is the city appealing the draft version of the streets. In case some of you think I dislike open government, I did give money to Kevin for the appeal for the street report document. Money is kind of tight right now for my family, but I thought that was worth it. If I thought this was worth it, I would go to City Hall this very afternoon and pay the $15.00 for the documentation that Kevin and Steve both have. When I called the City of Los Angeles's fire dept. to ask how to send a public records request to them, I was led to believe, by the person to whom I spoke, that they did not release the records I was asking for. However, I faxed my request anyway. Hopefully, the person was misinformed. If anyone else has anything to say to me, this is the place. I have been having some medical tests run in the last few weeks, so I have a little more time than usual. As long as Kevin lets me post, and I have something to say, I will. If you don't hear from me, it will only be because I have not been allowed to post; I am in the hospital; or I have nothing to say. As you already know, I am seldom without words:)Take care Starman, whoever you really are. I do like that name.

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  9. Lorri,

    How do you explain that you are going to get documents from the city that were denied to the Coast News? Doesn't that look like a cover up to you? Have you asked your friend Muir about that? Didn't you ever ask him if the stories about misconduct were true? Did he tell you they were true or false?

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  10. Starman-Since Kevin and Steve have the documents, I am not quite certain what was declined to Coast News. It is a bit confusing to me, to be honest. Yes, I have asked several people at the City, including Mark Muir. Supposedly what Kevin and Steve have is all of the information about misconduct of certain firefighters, (I think he said there were 5 in 5 years but I may be wrong on that), except the people's names who were involved in the misconduct. They also have, according to what I was told, is what happened to the them for their misconduct, My understanding is that Steve and kevin want the actual names of the firefighters involved. However, my understanding, and I am not a lawyer, is that if the City gives out the actual names, the City an be sued by the person whose name they gave out. That is the best answer I can give you. Hope that helps. Perhaps kevin or Steve might elaborate since they have the files.

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  11. I am not interested in names, it's totally and completely irrelevant.

    The issues is the CITY engages in cover ups, misleads the public and withholds access to public documents.

    It just so happens that the fire departments misconduct fell into my lap and is a prime example of municipal corruption.

    It's about the big picture. The FD is only one component.

    By the way, the FD has the largest budget allocation of all city services with exception of the sheriff's contract. They are almost even. $11 million each

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  12. Lorri,

    Are you confused about what you requested from the city too? Was it different than what the Coast News requested?

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  13. How do you explain that you are going to get documents from the city that were denied to the Coast News? Doesn't that look like a cover up to you?

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  14. Starman: If you believe there is a cover-up, there is nothing I can do to change your mind. Perhaps you might want to talk more to Steve or Kevin as they seem to know a lot more than I. Personally I do not believe that there is a cover-up. However, I have been accused of a lot of things during this debacle and I cannot think of any more to say that would help the situation. I have a private psychological practice in this community and have already been asked by some of my patients if I am part of some conspiracy because they have read this blog. I am not willing to allow Kevin or Steve to ruin my reputation or practice, so on advice of council I am not going to say anymore on this issue. There is a lot more than meets the eye here is all I will say. If Los Angeles does return my Public Records Request I will certainly somehow make that public. Outside of that, all of you can choose who and what to believe. If any of my patients read this and want more information as to the details of why I will say no more, I will happily explain it to you, at my expense at your next session. I know you will then understand that I am not a part of any conspiracy.

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  15. Dr. Lorri,

    We've had a lot of emails about this issue.

    "My understanding is that Steve and kevin want the actual names of the firefighters involved." This is the reverse of reality. Please explain why you are saying this.

    There are so many inconsistencies that haven't been mentioned, but that is a biggie that can't sit.

    We have a copy of the post you pulled down. Please don't spread misinformation. If you'd like to take a couple days to review your records and collect your thoughts and submit a history of all this please do.

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  16. Kevin: In case you did not read my post to Starman-I have nothing more to say about this issue, on advice from my attorney. I took that post off for a reason. I did not know that you and JP kept everything anyone writes, even if they choose not to post it. Good to know for the future. Perhaps you might want to reread my whole post to Starman. I think that says all there is to say, at least on this blog, and certainly not email.

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  17. How do you explain that you are going to get documents from the city that were denied to the Coast News? Doesn't that look like a cover up to you and why did you take your post down?

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  18. It may be time to put this issue in context. If this was the first time the City had covered up facts, deleted E-mails, refused the public records they should be able to view, "lost" material that should be on the record but aren't, then there might have been some doubt as to the City's intentions on this issue. Doesn't anyone remember the traffic study that was held up for release until after the election ? The one later admitted in open Council to have been delayed for political reasons ? How about the recent road survey ? I have mentioned previously, that I have a letter on the Hall park date stamped by the City with copies to all the Council members that is not in the City's file. Where did it go and why?
    Obfuscation is a way of life for our Council and staff. This issue is business as usual.

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