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Last night, RT asked me about the city’s settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission:
During council sessions where there was public comment concerning the SEC investigation and possible settlement, the City Attorney stated that the negotiations at that time had to be in closed session. He also stated that the negotiations transcript would be released after the settlement was reached and approved.
I have asked the city attorney a number of times when this information will be released with no answer. Maybe if you could ask it would generate the transcripts. I really believe this information should be in the public domain.
I talked to City Attorney Mike Aguirre this morning, he said he was referring to the transcripts the SEC generated as it was investigating the city:
“What I said was that after the investigation was completed, it was possible under the Freedom of Information Act to request the transcripts of the testimony and the sworn statements that were taken,” he said.
As for the transcripts from the closed City Council meetings, Aguirre said he has yet to receive any public records requests for them.
“We have not gotten an official request on these, and that’s something that I would certainly review. I think at some point, it would important for people to get that,” he said, declining to specify when, exactly, that point would be.
Though the City Council waived its attorney client privilege on certain documents used by the SEC, Aguirre said the waiver does not apply to these meetings. Though, he added, he would be happy to ask the council to unseal these, too, if he gets a request for them.
Even on the SEC documents, Aguirre says he doubts the transcripts will be turned over any time soon, because the commission investigation is not necessarily completed. As Andrew Donohue and Evan McLaughlin reported in October:
The possibility remains that the SEC could bring punishment against any individuals it believes are responsible for release of inaccurate financial information to potential investors.
The SEC settlement, agreed to by the City Council last weekend and now pending the approval of the commission’s five-member board, deals with only the city as an entity. City Attorney Mike Aguirre severed the individuals from the entity in settlement talks last year, saying it would help speed the resolution of the city’s problems.
Securities attorney Ed McIntyre, who isn’t involved in the case, said entities are often dealt with before individuals in securities investigations.