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A lawyer writes in about me giving up on my public records request for docs about the Office of Ethics and Integrity’s hotline for city employees.

Are you going to let the city’s denial of your CPRA request stand? Their decision is b—. They could black out the names of persons who’ve submitted comments but still provide the comments. Their spreadsheet tells us virtually nothing except what the compilers of the information think.

Here is City Attorney Mike “Open Records” Aguirre’s response again. I had asked his office just to black out any identifying information of the employees who call in.

We noted that releasing the information would likely dissuade many employees from expressing their concerns out of fear they would be identifiable based on the nature and details of their complaint.

My immediate response is that if the hotline is valid, the disclosure of its fielded complaints will only verify its credibility.

Here’s the deal. I’m almost positive that there is a bushel of complaints in their possession right now that are silly, and the Mayor’s Office doesn’t want me to see them and ridicule them.

That’s it. I believe they are sincere, though, and that they dream of someday really making City Hall better based on a complaint they get to the hotline. They say it’s in the public’s best interest and that’s the part of the California Public Records Act that I just don’t have the muscle to fight.

Don’t worry though. I’ll do my best to make sure the Office of Ethics and Integrity earns the $1.4 million it was able to squeeze out of a city teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

SCOTT LEWIS

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