The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs paid out nearly $50,000 to Voice of OC, the L.A. Times and Southern California Public Radio this past month after deputies lost their bid in court earlier this year to seal deputy misconduct records.
Barnes, who benefited from more than $600K in campaign cash from the same OC deputy union that fought disclosure of SB 1421 police misconduct records, has put a tiny staff on the biggest public records challenge ever, likely ensuring that Orange County taxpayers – who have paid out nearly $100 million in legal payouts from Sheriff’s Department misdeeds since 1990 – remain in the dark along with any kind of potential reform.
Voice of OC today joins nearly three dozen newsrooms across California that have forged a rare collaborative to report about police misconduct files that recently became available for public review under California’s new police transparency law, SB 1421.
The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs has apparently given up on its lawsuit seeking to prevent the public release of deputy misconduct records, a day after OC Superior Court Judge Nathan Scott rejected all of their court arguments against implementation of a new state law, SB 1421, which would allow the public to review select misconduct records about use of force incidents, sexual assaults on members of the public or lying while on duty. A media coalition, led by Voice of OC and including the Los Angeles Times and Southern California Public Radio, successfully went to court last month to oppose the deputy union effort.
Thanks to a decision by OC Superior Court Judge Nathan Scott, the people of Orange County can truly hold their law enforcement agencies accountable by having access to select misconduct records as authorized by state law. Voice of OC led a media coalition including the LA Times and Southern California Public Radio in the legal battle to protect Orange County citizens’ right to public records.
LA Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff is today expected to finalize a tentative ruling against an LA Deputy Sheriff union arguments attempting to block implementation of SB1421, which opens up select police misconduct records for public review. Orange County Superior Court Judge Nathan Scott is expected to rule soon on the same issue here involving a bid by the local deputies union to block public access to similar records. A Voice of OC-led media coalition is opposing that effort in court.
After a ruling against police unions in Contra Costa late last week, Orange County this week could become the second jurisdiction to see a ruling in California over the heated legal battle to implement SB 1421, which opens select police misconduct records for public review.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Nathan Scott ruled Thursday that a media coalition led by Voice of OC, which includes the LA Times and Southern California Public Radio, has the right to intervene in court against a bid by the county deputy sheriff’s union to quash the public release of select police misconduct records.
Today, Voice of OC leads a media coalition in Orange County appearing before Superior Court Judge Nathan Scott to oppose a deputy sheriff union request to block public access to police misconduct records. While State Attorney General Javier Becerra and local elected officials have largely given way to local police unions fighting against the implementation of SB1421, this week news publishers from across the state attending the California News Publishers Association capital conference in Sacramento reasserted their strong support for the myriad of public records lawsuits being waged across the state as a media coalition.
After County Counsel Leon Page takes a public stand on defending the public’s right to know about police records, county supervisors order a stand down. Media representatives such as the LA Times and So Cal Public Radio, led by Voice of OC, head back into court this Thursday to oppose the action.