Veronica Garcia 3 p.m., Nov. 21
Council President Todd Gloria's Office says no vote was taken to release closed-session transcripts
Statement from Gloria's Office comes on the same day that attorney files lawsuit for release of meeting record
The Fourth of July holiday couldn't have come at a better time for City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. The Independence Day break may provide Goldsmith some time to reflect on, and deflect, the criticism directed at his office for prosecuting a man for drawing protest slogans in chalk.
Unfortunately for Goldsmith, the break couldn't come soon enough.
On Wednesday, July 3, attorney Cory Briggs filed a lawsuit in Superior Court over the City Attorney's refusal to release the complete transcript from a June 18 closed session meeting where Mayor Bob Filner tossed one of Goldsmith's right-hand man from the room.
"[San Diegans for Open Government] brings this lawsuit under the California Public Records Act ("CPRA"). San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith are locked in what appears to many onlookers like a no-holds-barred political death spiral, with each trying to undermine or humiliate the other on practically every aspect of the other's essential job functions. What they cannot seem to appreciate--or perhaps they hate each other so much that they just don't care--is that they are taking the City down with them," reads the lawsuit.
"Anyone who regularly seeks information from the City under the CPRA knows that a two-day response to a request for public records is about as rare as Halley's Comet--even when the records already exist at the time the request is made. Furthermore, the redacted transcript omits numerous statements by other participants in the closed-session meeting, leaving the public able to do nothing more than speculate about those participants' role in the Filner-Jones encounter."
But there's another issue. How was the transcript released in the first place.
The requirements for disclosing information from a closed-session meeting were included in a June 28 letter from Goldsmith's office to lawyer Briggs.
"Under the Brown Act, confidential information from a closed session [meeting]...may not be disclosed to a person not entitled to receive it, unless the legislative body authorizes disclosure of the that confidential information. Thus, no further disclosable public documents exist."
But Council President Todd Gloria says he was not aware of any such vote taking place.
On July 3, Gloria's Chief of Staff confirmed that Gloria "is not aware of any vote that took place to release the record" for the June 18 closed-session meeting.
In a brief statement from the City Attorney's Office, interim spokesperson Michael Giorgino issued the following statement.
"The transcript we provided to the media contained no confidential information."
Georgino included the same memo and explanation provided to 10News two days after the meeting took place.