4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Goldsmith digs in

City attorney hires legal counsel to defend him in email lawsuit

Jan Goldsmith
Jan Goldsmith

City attorney Jan Goldsmith needs legal help. He has hired outside counsel in the case brought against him for his failure to turn over emails from his personal email account to reporters and others.

In a June 26 court document, Goldsmith notified the court that Escondido-based attorney Jacqueline Vinaccia, a University of San Diego alumni, would represent him and not deputy city attorneys working for him.

Sponsored
Sponsored

According to her bio, Vinaccia specializes in “Business and Municipal litigation. Homeowner Association assistance and assessment recovery and attorney fee auditing and expert witness work."

The case, filed by San Diegans for Open Government earlier this year, challenges Goldsmith's use of a personal email address for city business. In the complaint, Cory Briggs, the attorney for the government-watchdog group, claims the city attorney's office refused to provide emails from Goldsmith's personal email account that had already been handed over to the Reader and NBC San Diego.

As of now, Goldsmith's defense has relied on an interpretation of the state's public records law that states that public officials are not the same as an "agency" and therefore are exempt from turning over emails and other correspondence.

"[A]lthough there is a strong policy favoring disclosure of public records, the public's right to information is not absolute," reads a February 27 legal brief filed by Goldsmith's former counsel. "As a threshold matter, the Act requires that the requested records sought be from a state or local agency. The requested records must also be prepared, owned, used, or retained by that agency and contain information relating to the conduct of the public's business."

That argument, however, didn't fly with Superior Court judge Joel Wohlfeil. In a June 6 ruling, Wohlfeil cited the following passage: "Unless exempted by the California Public Records Act (CPRA), all public records may be examined by any member of the public, often the press, but conceivably any person with no greater interest than idle curiosity."

Goldsmith has also stated that he is not required to talk to the media and did so not as city attorney but as a citizen.

Judging by a June 27 filing, Goldsmith's attorney Vinaccia has abandoned those lines of defense and now is placing the blame on what they say was a broad request from Briggs.

"Plaintiff/Petitioner's record requests are vague, overbroad, and unduly burdensome, or fail to sufficiently identify the records sought to be reviewed and/or inspected and/or the authority permitting the review and/or inspection, in an adequately focused and specific manner that will provide the City with a meaningful opportunity to respond as otherwise permitted or required by law.

"City has complied with all the terms of the [California Public Records Act], the California Constitution and the City Charter, and has exercised its discretion in accordance with applicable law, has not acted in any arbitrary or capricious manner, and has not committed an abuse of discretion. In addition to producing documents the City believed were responsive to the Plaintiff/Petitioner's request, the City has made several attempts to clarify the scope of [the] request."

The next hearing date has not been set.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

The Enemy on McGinty Mountain

"Who am I to dictate who should or should not go hiking?”
Next Article

Some Kind of Nightmare tours while Social Spit stays home

The difference between young and old punk rockers
Jan Goldsmith
Jan Goldsmith

City attorney Jan Goldsmith needs legal help. He has hired outside counsel in the case brought against him for his failure to turn over emails from his personal email account to reporters and others.

In a June 26 court document, Goldsmith notified the court that Escondido-based attorney Jacqueline Vinaccia, a University of San Diego alumni, would represent him and not deputy city attorneys working for him.

Sponsored
Sponsored

According to her bio, Vinaccia specializes in “Business and Municipal litigation. Homeowner Association assistance and assessment recovery and attorney fee auditing and expert witness work."

The case, filed by San Diegans for Open Government earlier this year, challenges Goldsmith's use of a personal email address for city business. In the complaint, Cory Briggs, the attorney for the government-watchdog group, claims the city attorney's office refused to provide emails from Goldsmith's personal email account that had already been handed over to the Reader and NBC San Diego.

As of now, Goldsmith's defense has relied on an interpretation of the state's public records law that states that public officials are not the same as an "agency" and therefore are exempt from turning over emails and other correspondence.

"[A]lthough there is a strong policy favoring disclosure of public records, the public's right to information is not absolute," reads a February 27 legal brief filed by Goldsmith's former counsel. "As a threshold matter, the Act requires that the requested records sought be from a state or local agency. The requested records must also be prepared, owned, used, or retained by that agency and contain information relating to the conduct of the public's business."

That argument, however, didn't fly with Superior Court judge Joel Wohlfeil. In a June 6 ruling, Wohlfeil cited the following passage: "Unless exempted by the California Public Records Act (CPRA), all public records may be examined by any member of the public, often the press, but conceivably any person with no greater interest than idle curiosity."

Goldsmith has also stated that he is not required to talk to the media and did so not as city attorney but as a citizen.

Judging by a June 27 filing, Goldsmith's attorney Vinaccia has abandoned those lines of defense and now is placing the blame on what they say was a broad request from Briggs.

"Plaintiff/Petitioner's record requests are vague, overbroad, and unduly burdensome, or fail to sufficiently identify the records sought to be reviewed and/or inspected and/or the authority permitting the review and/or inspection, in an adequately focused and specific manner that will provide the City with a meaningful opportunity to respond as otherwise permitted or required by law.

"City has complied with all the terms of the [California Public Records Act], the California Constitution and the City Charter, and has exercised its discretion in accordance with applicable law, has not acted in any arbitrary or capricious manner, and has not committed an abuse of discretion. In addition to producing documents the City believed were responsive to the Plaintiff/Petitioner's request, the City has made several attempts to clarify the scope of [the] request."

The next hearing date has not been set.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience, Paisanos Mexico, Taste of Barrio Logan

Events February 2-February 4, 2023
Next Article

African Composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Don't Sleep on Samuel Coleridge-Tayor
Comments

It will be interesting to follow Filner's nemesis.

July 1, 2014

It will be interesting to follow Filner's former nemesis.

July 1, 2014

Why should he have to give over his private emails to hostile reporters? What happened to our right to personal privacy? Liberals seem to pick and chose when it should be applied

July 2, 2014

If he's using private email to conduct City business, he must turn them over. Sounds pretty simple to me; there's no picking and choosing there.

July 2, 2014

Excellent followup on the Reader's March 2014 report on Goldsmith and his secret emails. Goldsmith is such a sleaze. Ironic that Atty Vinnacia specializes in recovery of homeowners' assessments. I hope she chides Goldsmith for his ugly and lawless decision to deny refund of the first year of assessments, after the appellate court ruled against the illegal Golden Hill MAD.

The "vague, overbroad, and unduly burdensome, or fail to sufficiently identify the records" defense is weak, weak, weak. Goldsmith has already lost.

July 2, 2014

Here's the problem, at issue are private e-mails that are trying to be obtained from before Goldsmith was even in public office. The law is not the left or the right's to twist and turn how they see fit to target their opponents.

If you're going to be righteous leftists, at least have the truth on your side.

July 3, 2014

Just to clarify: The emails were sent/received while Goldsmith was in office. Thanks.-dH

July 3, 2014
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close