Friday, August 24, 2007

A loophole to drive a truck through

Friday, Aug. 24, the Tracy Press lost its lawsuit to compel Vice Mayor Suzanne Tucker to release e-mails regarding council business.

Judge Lauren P. Thomasson, by denying this Public Records Act request, has essentially neutered that law as well as voter-passed Proposition 59, which are designed to make government actions transparent — and therefore make government accountable.

This ruling essentially means that any public officer or agency, if they use private equipment to conduct public business, suddenly make their business beyond the public purview, even though these dealings clearly impact their role as public servants and not their role as private citizens.

Thank you, Judge Thomasson, for giving shifty government officials a way to evade oversight. Richard Nixon is applauding from his grave.


Erdos56 said...

Worrisome and frustrating, indeed. Clearly, the Public Records Act needs amending to make it clear that actions pursuant of the official's role as a government representative should be considered public records, regardless of the storage or transmittal medium.

Anonymous said...

Jon -- To add to your theme I'd say that just because it is legal doesn't make it moral. --Mike McLellan