Email Could Lead to Grand Jury Invest...

Email Could Lead to Grand Jury Investigation of City Council

There are 1 comment on the story from May 17, 2013, titled Email Could Lead to Grand Jury Investigation of City Council. In it, reports that:

La Habra Heights, CA - A May 15, 2013 email from City Manager Shauna Clark (complete below) suggests a Brown Act (Open Meeting Law) violation.

The Brown Act requires decisions of the City Council to be done in public, with limited exceptions for litigation, real estate and personnel matters, in order for the public to have input in the decision, and the deliberations and vote of the Council to be done in public.

In September 2012, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Fraud and Corruption Department sent a letter to the City regarding a July 2012 Brown Act violation stating, “if similar conduct occurs in the future, we will not hesitate to convene a grand jury.”

The email to the City Manger's "Friends" about a new section of the City website, starts off, "The City Council has authorized staff....", however there was no agendized item on the subject of the City website or responses to issues on any regular or special City Council agenda.

The Public had no opportunity to offer comment on whether limited City funds should be used in the proposed manner.

The City regularly claims it is understaffed and under funded, and does not have time to fulfill requests for public records or funds to repair roads.

Extensive City staff time appears to have been expended creating documents and editing video used on the new section of the website, which appears designed to "spin" public perception in a manner favorable to the City.

On the new site, the City response to a third party audit of City finances, which found irregularities and made charges of forgery and embezzlement, explains the irregularities instead as resulting from "inept practices", "poor reporting", and improperly charging vendor payments to the City Payroll account.

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Facts or Fictions

Los Angeles, CA

#1 May 18, 2013
What the heck! The Ciry Manager (or her minion) can only defend false and misleading reports in the city budget as "inept" and poor practices". Didn't she teach a course in how to run the finances of a municipal government at a university? She is the City Manager, Finance Director and City Clerk. She has no one else to blame. To waste city resources to put a website up to defend the waste of city resources is crazy. It sounds like there is something to the embezzlement allegations. To blame others is highly suspicious.

Since the agenda shows no item either approving or even discussing the website, it is a violation of the Brown Act. Considering the DA's threat of convening a Grand Jury for another violation, it looks like our taxpayer dollars may soon be spent to defend more inept and poor practices. Those who can't do teach, apparently.

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