Request #19-516
  Closed

IMMEDIATE DISCLOSURE REQUEST

 

September 5, 2019

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

This is an immediate disclosure request.

 

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6250 et seq.) ("CPRA”), the Vallejo Sunshine Ordinance, and all other applicable laws, please disclose the following records.

 

  • Each non-disclosure agreement or similar document signed by any member of the public, or any outside expert, in connection with the current search for a new chief of police.

 

This request includes communications involving private as well as public infrastructure, devices, and/or accounts. See, e.g., San Jose v. Superior Court, 2 Cal.5th 608 (2017) (holding that when a city employee uses a personal account to communicate about the conduct of public business, the writings may be subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act). 

 

The fundamental rule of the CPRA is a presumption of public access. “In other words, [A]ll public records are subject to disclosure unless the Legislature has expressly provided to the contrary.” Williams v. Superior Court, 5 Cal. 4th 337 (1993). This presumption finds further support in the California Constitution, as amended by Proposition 59 in 2004. “A statute, court rule, or other authority, including those in effect on the effective date of this subdivision, shall be broadly construed if it furthers the people's right of access, and narrowly construed if it limits the right of access.” Cal. Const. Art. 1 § 3(b)(2).

 

Pursuant to the Vallejo Sunshine Ordinance, please provide a response by close of business today, September 5, 2019.

 

If you determine that any or all of the information qualifies for an exemption from disclosure, please note whether, as is normally the case, the exemption is discretionary, and if so whether it is necessary in this case to exercise your discretion to withhold the information. If you determine that some but not all of the information is exempt from disclosure and that you intend to withhold it, please redact it for the time being and make the rest available as requested. In any event, please provide a signed notification citing the legal authorities on which you rely if you determine that any or all of the information is exempt and will not be disclosed.

 

Please apply a fee waiver to this request. If the request for a fee waiver is denied, please provide notification of any duplication costs exceeding $20 before you duplicate the records. If the request for a fee waiver is denied, please further provide an index of all other requests since 2014 for which a fee waiver was denied, and the reason therefor.

 

Please disclose the requested record(s) electronically via email to records@openvallejo.org. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to be in touch.

 

Thank you.


Received

September 5, 2019 via web


Departments

All Other Departments


Requester

Open Vallejo

Documents

Public

(loading...)

Staff

Point of Contact

Melissa Rhodes

Request Closed Public

 

September 12, 2019, 10:55am by Samantha Chen
Document(s) Released   Details Public
Erika Leahy.pdf
Eric Upson.pdf
Daryl Arbuthnott.pdf
Claudia Quintana.pdf
Thomas Cropper.pdf
Stacey Bowman.pdf
Mina Diaz.pdf
Lynda Daniels.pdf
Jackie Arnold.pdf
Dawn Roginski.pdf
Adam Clark.pdf
Will Morat.pdf
Terrance Davis.pdf
Robert Plummer.pdf
Rekha Nayar.pdf
Randy Fenn.pdf
Mat Mustard.pdf
September 12, 2019, 10:52am by Samantha Chen
External Message   Hide Public

Dear Open Vallejo,

 

The City has located records responsive to this request, which it is releasing today. This release of records constitutes the City’s response to your PRA request.

 

Please be advised the City has redacted the personal email addresses and personal phone numbers for the panelists in the responsive documents. In general, the Public Records Act protects the confidentiality of personal information such as email addresses and personal phone numbers that are included in various public documents. Some examples include voter registration records (Gov. Code § 6254.4, subd. (a)); utility customer records (Gov. Code § 6254.16); firearms license applications (Gov. Code § 6254, subd. (u)); records of the Department of Housing and Community Development (Gov. Code § 6254.1, subd. (a)); DMV records (Gov. Code § 6254.1, subd. (b)); records of State employees, school City employees and County Office of Education employees. (Gov Code § 6254.3); and public library patron records (Gov. Code § 6267). We believe that the Legislature’s reasons for including such exemptions in the law is clearly to protect an individual's privacy. Therefore, disclosure of personal information would be an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

 

In addition to the statutory protections cited above, case law supports the right to privacy regarding personal information. (Planned Parenthood Golden Gate v. Superior Court (2000) 83 Cal.App.4th 347, 366-367 [strong privacy interest in avoiding disclosure of residential addresses and phone numbers]; Dept. of Defense v. FLRA (1994) 510 U.S. 487, 489, 500-501 [an individual's interest in controlling the dissemination of information regarding personal matters does not dissolve simply because that information may be available to the public in some form]; City of San Jose v. Superior Court (1999) 74 Cal. App. 4th 1008, 1023-1024 [citizens who complain to their local government have a significant privacy interest in their names, home addresses and home telephone numbers].)

 

For all of the above reasons, we believe that the public interest in protecting the confidentiality of the personal information redacted from the documents responsive to your request clearly outweighs any public interest served by disclosure. (Gov. Code § 6255.)

 

Additionally, we have redacted any information that would reveal the identities of the candidates for the Police Chief position. The City’s recruitment for the Police Chief position is ongoing. At this time, all of the candidates’ identities are confidential. Government Code section 6254(c) protects information in “…personnel, medical, or similar files…” including job application materials, because disclosing the identities and job histories of persons not selected by the City would be an unwarranted invasion of their privacy. In addition, the public interest served by protecting the personal privacy of job applicants, thus assuring a broad selection of qualified candidates for City positions and avoiding any potential liability for the City in disclosing documents that violate an individual’s personal privacy, clearly outweighs any public interest served by disclosing confidential information of unsuccessful candidates. (Gov. Code § 6255; California First Amendment Coalition v. Superior Court (1998) 67 Cal.App.4th 159; Wilson v. Superior Court (1996) 51 Cal.App.4th 1136.)

 

Because the City is not disclosing the personal information described above, the Public Records Act requires the City to provide a written response when a records request is denied, either in whole or in part. (Gov. Code § 6255, subd. (b).) The Public Records Act also requires that notification of denial of any request for records must include the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial. (Gov. Code § 6253, subd. (d).) With the name and title of the undersigned, this letter fulfills both of the aforementioned legal requirements.

 

As all non-exempt, responsive records have been disclosed, the City deems this request complete. If any further questions or concerns arise, please feel free to contact me.  Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Samantha Chen

for BEST BEST & KRIEGER LLP

September 12, 2019, 10:51am by Samantha Chen (Staff)
External Message   Hide Public
Why does this require consultation with legal counsel? The City of Vallejo executed written agreements with individuals the city itself has identified, many of whom are themselves public officials, on a matter of intense (including national and international) public concern. Moreover, at least some portion of these agreements may not be enforceable, per *Black Panther Party v. Kehoe. *In light of the intense public interest in disclosure, the minimum withholding requirements provided by the city Sunshine Ordinance, and the fact that the city has already analyzed these contracts, we see no reason why the city requires 10 additional days to confer about its own non-exempt work product. Please immediately disclose these readily-available records.
September 5, 2019, 3:49pm by the requester via email
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My office represents the City of Vallejo (the “City”) in connection with the City’s response to your PRA Request sent and received on September 5, 2019. I have been authorized by our client to provide a determination on your request for records.

 

The records requested are not readily identifiable, nonexempt public records. A determination on the disclosability of the records requested requires consultation with legal counsel or another interested department. As such, this request is not readily answerable, and is not subject to the immediate disclosure timelines set forth in Vallejo Municipal Code 2.08.100. Please be advised that the City is making every effort to respond to this request as promptly as possible. The City will provide a determination on this request within 10 days from its receipt of this request in accordance with Government Code Section 6253(c).

 

Thank you,

Samantha Chen

for BEST BEST & KRIEGER LLP

September 5, 2019, 2:35pm by Samantha Chen (Staff)
Request Published Public
September 5, 2019, 9:34am by Dawn Abrahamson, City Clerk
Department Assignment Public
All Other Departments
September 5, 2019, 1:19am
Request Opened Public
Request received via web
September 5, 2019, 1:19am