Friday, January 12, 2007

Not-so-Public Police Records

Glendora has had its problems in the past regarding access to public records.

So it should come as no surprise that in Alison Hewitt's SGV Tribune article on a recent undercover audit of how local "police, sheriff and CHP stations statewide handle public records requests," Glendora is singled out out as being particularly bad, although "most agencies either do not know how to respond or deliberately hold back public information."

In Glendora, the Police Department received an F- after the records specialist required the auditor's name, refused to accept a list of written requests for public information and was unable to fulfill any of three oral requests for information. Information that the California Public Records Act requires police to release was described as being available only on a "need-to-know, right-to-know basis."

Glendora Police Chief Charles Montoya said Thursday that the woman was not the normal records specialist and acknowledged that the request was handled improperly.

"The bottom line is we attempt to fully comply with all the provisions of the California Public Records Act, and if there was a deviation from that, I apologize," he said. "We'll rectify that."

However, he then added that his Form 700 would not have been released anyway. After questioning, he clarified that it would not have been released without being redacted. He then checked the form and concluded that it could be released in its entirety.

Glendora and Arcadia were the only two local cities audited, and they both received an F-. The full report is here, with more details available by clicking the links on the pages about Arcadia and Glendora.

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