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You might have been following Will Carlessbattle with officials at the Southeastern Economic Development Corp. in an effort to force them to release public documents related to what the agency paid its outside attorneys.

The U-T, a local newspaper, asked for the records this summer too.

SEDC released some incomplete records two weeks ago, apparently satisfying the paper, which described the documents as “unredacted” (emphasis mine):

The Southeastern Economic Development Corp. spent nearly $75,000 in legal fees — partly for ethics training — over the past three years, according to legal bills released late Wednesday.

The unredacted bills reveal little about the advice the nonprofit city agency received ahead of a financial scandal that forced the SEDC board to fire its long-time president, Carolyn Smith.

The SEDC had withheld the documents for months after The San Diego Union-Tribune initially requested them July 24.

Carless got those records two weeks ago, as well. However, he immediately noted that the bills released by the agency were very incomplete as they did not include the hours the lawyer worked. He hounded the agency to provide the complete information.

Today, the full records finally came out. And now, the U-T writes that the originals released earlier were not complete. They were actually “heavily redacted:”

The SEDC released the records pursuant to public records requests first filed by the Union-Tribune in July.

The agency had previoulsy [sic] released heavily redacted copies of Petty’s billing statements that showed her firm’s monthly charges but not her hourly rate, or how many hours she worked.

So two weeks ago, the records were “unredacted” but now the paper says those records were heavily redacted and now they got the full documents. Glad to see they were all over it from the start.

SCOTT LEWIS

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