Why I'm about to sue Atherton (again)
Original post made by John P Johns, another community, on Aug 21, 2010
During the past 24 months I have sought to obtain copies of e-mail archives, copies of police reports, documentation concerning code violation complaints and other material with the objective of bringing to light and holding highly placed elected and appointed officials accountable for thier behavior.
Prior to the arrival of Ms. Wynne Furth on the scene, the Town of Atherton obeyed the public records act scrupulously. In fact the former City Attorney's production of records pursuant to my public records requests gave me the information I needed to successfuly prosecute my lawsuit seeking reinstatement as Atherton's Finance Director.
Regrettably, subsequent to the installation of Ms. Wynne Furth as City Attorney, the Town of Atherton has refused to comply with the California Public Records Act on numerous occasions.
For example the Town has stated that "after a diligent search" it was unable to locate records responsive to my public records requests, despite the fact that it had previously provided the very same records in response to prior public records requests (such as copies of Charles Marsala's e-mails).
On other occasions, the Town has refusd to produce public records on grounds of attorney-client privilege, employee privacy interests and an overly broad nature of my requests.
I have been patient and persistent in submitting my public records requests, accepting the Town's refusal to produce records I believe it has and should produce, while seeking other records of interest.
However I have run out of patience and understanding with the Town's recalcitrance.
As is documented in the video which is now accessible via You Tube, the City Manager, presumably pursuant to the instructions of the City Attorney has refused to produce or allow for inspection electronic records from the Building Department's permit tracking system.
I firmly believe that the Town has refused to produce these records because it would wish to avoid being held accountable for a pattern of neglect or worse, criminal activity in the Building Department that has continued until the present day.
It is for that reason that I will instruct my attorney to file a writ of mandamus to compel the Town of Atherton to adhere to the California Public Records Act if the City fails to produce or to allow for inspection the records I have requested.
For those readers who reside in Atherton and who would rather not throw good money after bad to a loosing cause, I would urge you to call or to write the City Attorney, the City Council and the City Manager to stop the stonewalling.