Finally heard from Darren Pudgil, the spokesman for Mayor Jerry Sanders. I wanted to know why we had to threaten to sue the city in order to obtain 374 e-mails the city kept secret without any conceivable legal justification.

Pudgil wrote in an e-mail:

Regarding the emails: obviously, mistakes were made. The person on our staff who was working with the city attorney’s staff on this withheld emails that should have been released. And some emails were released that should have been withheld.

The bottom line is there was a serious misunderstanding between our staff and the city attorney’s staff as to what should have been disclosed and released. Our staff misinterpreted their advice. It’s being addressed to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

I asked who on the mayor’s staff withheld the e-mails and what was being done to avoid a repeat.

Pudgil didn’t answer the question about who was responsible. He replied:

I will play a greater role in the [California Public Record Act] process. There might be other changes as well, but I’m not sure.

I asked how his involvement would solve the issue. He said:

I have a lot of experience with [Public Record Act requests] — more than I care to have.

ROB DAVIS

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