PUBLIC INFORMATION — The Asbury Park Press reports that a New Jersey state administrative law judge has fined a former Oceanport borough councilman $1,000 for failing to provide public records to Borough Clerk Kimberly Jungfer so she could provide them to people seeking the information.
The judge continued that there is sufficient evidence to conclude "that the conduct and actions of Councilman Hugh Sharkey were intentional and deliberate, with knowledge of their wrongfulness and not merely negligent.''
In California, AB 1393 of 2007, by then Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Californians Aware, would have added teeth to California's open records law, which has no penalty for simply ignoring information requests, by allowing a judge to impose a penalty awardpaid by the defendant agency to the requesterof up to $100 for every day that the agency engaged in bad faith denials or delays of access to clearly public records in deliberate disregard for the law.
But the bill, including the penalty provision, was gutted in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, in a move seen by veteran observers as a casualty of inter-house, intra-party
sabotage aimed at Lenos bills by Senate President pro Tem Don Perata
(D-Oakland). Of 13 of them making it to the Senate, only five reached the floorwith two, including AB 1393,
This beyond-coincidental trashing of
Lenos legislative work for the year resulted from Peratas
striving to maintain the loyalty of his fellow Democrat Senators, and specifically to protect Carole Migden, a caucus principal whose San Francisco area Senate seat Leno was then seekingand went on to win in the succeeding Junes primary.
provisions summarily stricken from AB 1393 without debate or public
discussion in the committee are those passed by
the legislature in four previous billsonly to be vetoed by Governors
Davis (three times) and Schwarzenegger.