OPEN MEETINGS — The San Diego District Attorney's Office is looking into whether the Imperial Beach City Council may have violated the Brown Act by appointing a former mayor to fill a vacancy created by the death of a city councilman three days before.
As reported by the San Diego Weekly Reader,
On June 9, Leon Schorr of the San Diego County district attorneys
office informed city attorney Lough that the City is under
investigation for violating the Brown Act — the government statute
that insures public access to local government meetings and
We got some complaints from the general public about the appointment, said Schorr in a June 10 phone interview.
Those complaints stem from a May 26 notification sent out by the
city clerk of Imperial Beach to a local paper, requesting applications
to fill the vacant council seat. The next day, at a special meeting
intended to consider filling the vacancy, mayor Jim Janney informed
the council that Rose had contacted him and volunteered to fill the
position. The council then agreed to appoint the former mayor.
There was no mention at all or any intent given in the agenda that
Rose was to be appointed that evening, read the complaint submitted to
the district attorneys office. The intent of the agenda was to decide
on how to fill the vacant seat by holding a special election or an open
application process. There was no mention of filling that seat at the
May 27 meeting.
As for the investigation by the district attorneys office, Schorr
says his office has to wait until the City of Imperial Beach releases
the official record of the June 3 council meeting before his office can
determine whether or not the appointment is valid.