Activist Wants Police to Investigate Councilwoman’s Actions

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Amin David, former leader of the Latino group Los Amigos, is calling on Anaheim Police Chief John Welter to investigate emails sent by Councilwoman Kris Murray to city staff on behalf of her employer, Willdan Group.

David wrote in a letter to Welter dated Jan. 6 that he has “been deeply troubled to read news reports that indicated Anaheim City Councilwoman Kris Murray may have unlawfully used her position to benefit her employer.”

“As an active and concerned Anaheim resident, I request that your office conduct a formal investigation into this potential crime,” David wrote.

David provided Voice of OC with a copy of his letter.

Last month, Voice of OC revealed the email chain between Murray and Fire Chief Randy Bruegman in which Murray complained that her firm was having trouble obtaining a permit for a company barbeque.

Murray’s firm ultimately received the permit after her repeated requests to speak to the staffer handling her company’s permit application.

Several local-government experts criticized Murray’s actions, saying they violated the basic tenants of the council-manager form of government. Anaheim’s charter specifically bars council members from directly contacting city staff except for simple inquiries. Charter violations can result in fines, jail or both.

Murray contends that she was only asking questions about the permit process.

“I was merely asking the Chief for information about the process, and specifically did not ask for his assistance to resolve the matter. The department did not take any steps to intervene in this matter on behalf of my company — it was ultimately a miscommunication between the private events company that was handling the matter,” Murray wrote in an email to Voice of OC.

David’s letter also asks the police chief to investigate orders given to employees in the city’s Planning Department to destroy emails and other correspondence. Open-government experts said the orders appear to ask employees to break state records laws, which require retention of all city records for at least two years.

City officials have not yet responded to David’s letter.

— ADAM ELMAHREK

 

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