Orange County’s five elected supervisors preside over $6 billion in public spending and pressing issues like homelessness, mental health and drug treatment, and how to balance spending between those programs and county jails, the Sheriff’s Department, and District Attorney’s Office.
A state bill AB 1479 – up for vote on Friday – would create a fine for agencies that grossly violate California’s Public Records Act. A recent successful Voice of OC lawsuit against the County of Orange, appealing denied public records about an evangelist handcuffed by a county supervisor while armed, is a prime test case for the fine.
Voice of OC filed suit after county officials refused to release records regarding officials’ actions leading up to Carlos Bustamante’s arrest on sex crimes. The open-government advocacy group Californians Aware has joined the suit.
The news organization, along with open-government advocacy group Californians Aware, seeks access to a letter sent by a deputy CEO that reportedly alleges a host of improprieties within the county bureaucracy.