Lawsuit Filed Against City of Chula Vista for Refusal to Comply With California Public Records Law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sacramento, California, May 20, 2014
Contact: press@calpolicycenter.org, 916-258-2396

California Think Tank Holds City Accountable for Violating State Law

Today, the California Policy Center (CPC) filed a lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court against the city of Chula Vista for refusing to comply with the California Public Records Act (CPRA).

CPC is seeking the names and compensation information of Chula Vista public employees.

CPC first requested these records on June 25, 2013. Over the past ten months, the city has stalled and delayed the request numerous times, as city officials continue to refuse to provide the names of its employees connected to their compensation information. This information is public record under Government Code 6250-6270, the California Public Records Act. The California Supreme Court has also required the disclosure of government employee names and salary information in its 2007 International Federation of Professional Technical Engineers v. Superior Court.

In the lawsuit, CPC details several violations committed by Chula Vista:

  • Withholding public records
  • Failure to meet the required deadlines outlined within CPRA
  • Failure to explain why certain public records were withheld
  • Failure to identify who denied access to the public records

The records will become part of the organization’s public salary and pension database available at TransparentCalifornia.com. CPC is requesting that the court order the city to provide the complete public compensation records as required by law.

A copy of the lawsuit can be found here, with exhibits here, and the incomplete public compensation records on Transparent California can be seen here.

“In the last ten months, Chula Vista officials have made a mockery of California’s public records act,” said Chad Morgan, the attorney representing CPC in this case. “Citizens have a right to see how Chula Vista is spending their money and who is receiving those tax dollars.

“It’s time for Chula Vista officials to understand that government exists to serve the people, not the other way around,” Morgan continued. “We urge the court to make Chula Vista comply with the public records act, as hundreds of jurisdictions throughout California already have.”

To schedule an interview, contact Jordan Bruneau at (916) 258-2396 or Jordan@CalPolicyCenter.org.

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The California Policy Center is a non-partisan public policy think tank that aspires to provide information that will elevate and enlighten the public dialogue on vital issues facing Californians, with the goal of helping to foster constructive progress towards more equitable and sustainable management of California’s public institutions. Learn more at www.TransparentCalifornia.com or www.CaliforniaPolicyCenter.org