All five county supervisors have declined to weigh in on DA Watch, our public records fight with District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis over a $1,354 bill for controversial gang data.

As you’ll remember, the District Attorney’s Office wants to charge us for costs — like computer shelves — that open government advocates say are not allowed under the law.

Although Dumanis has statutory authority over her office’s operations, the supervisors have some political leverage through their control of the district attorney’s annual budget.

Some supervisors said it would not be appropriate to judge how another elected official operates her office. Others said they did not have the background to know whether Dumanis’ bill for the gang data is legitimate.

“It would not be proper for Supervisor Horn to respond to your request since this issue concerns the interpretation and application of statutory language in the Public Records Act,” John Culea, spokesman for Supervisor Bill Horn, wrote in an email. “As to what is and what is not allowable under the law of the Public Records Act, the DA’s office is in the better position to explain that.”

“In my experience the district attorney’s office has been very open in providing information to the public,” Supervisor Ron Roberts said in a statement. “The questions here involve computer programming issues. This is a matter for the professionals in the District Attorney’s Office.”

Supervisor Dianne Jacob said in a statement she was “not up to speed on the technological aspects” of how the office stores data and “this matter is best handled by the DA at present.”

Stay tuned for more updates from DA Watch.


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