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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

City Hall floor might be gated

Although the California Public Records Act requires that public records be available during public business hours, Union-Tribune journalists were not allowed to see financial records at the San Diego City Hall, the Union-Tribune reported. The staffers visited City Hall to view checks written by the city after no one responded to their FOIA requests. Marcelle Rossman, the city's financial operations manager, intervened twice when other city employees directed the journalists to the files. Now City Hall has installed an "authorized employees only" sign on the seventh floor and is considering the addition of a gate or doors.

A showdown last month between a pair of Union-Tribune staffers and San Diego city officials over financial records housed at City Hall has led city officials to post "authorized employees only" signs on the seventh floor.

The journalists, reporter Brooke Williams and data specialist Danielle Cervantes, went to City Hall on June 17 to view checks written by the city.

Williams said she and Cervantes had made at least three requests to see the checks with no response from the Mayor's Office. They decided to go to City Hall -- armed with a copy of the state Public Records Act -- and ask to see the checks in person. To read Williams' full account, go here.

More here.

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