Tuesday, October 27, 2015


D.A. Gascon is Still Violating the SF Sunshine Law

I've lost track of how many complaints I brought to the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force and appearances before them regarding District Attorney George Gascon's longstanding refusal to keep a simple daily work calendar as required by that pesky problem known as the law. Here is what San Francisco's statute lays out regarding the DA and calendars:

"(a)   The Mayor, City Attorney, Treasurer, Assessor-Recorder, District Attorney, Public Defender, Sheriff, every member of the Board of Supervisors, and every Department Head shall keep or cause to be kept a daily calendar wherein is recorded the time and place of each meeting or event attended by that official, either in person or by teleconference or other electronic means, with the exclusion of purely personal or social events at which no City business is discussed and that do not take place at City Offices or at the offices or residences of people who do substantial business with or are otherwise substantially financially affected by actions of the City. For meetings not otherwise publicly recorded, the calendar shall include a general statement of issues discussed. Such calendars shall be public records and shall be available to any requester three business days subsequent to the calendar entry date."

By no stretch of the imagination has Emperor Gascon met the spirit or letter of this law. My latest request for his calendars for August and September, produced responsive records showing a willful and continuing pattern of ignoring his legal duties as an elected official.

Let's go over a few of his daily calendars in the comments.

A typical day for Gascon includes putting his mug before cameras and media folks. On September 9th, his only duty on behalf of taxpayers was to run his mouth with Univision. I guess for the rest of the day he was plotting his reelection campaign strategy. As with too many San Francisco elected offices, the DA is up before the voters this year and faces not a single serious or alternative challenger.

One of Gascon's favorite entries, over his tenure as DA, is this: "ALL DAY. DA to conduct meetings in office." Why bother with deets like who was at the meetings, what was discussed and length of their running time? That would mean adhering to the full meaning of the sunshine law.

At the last two SOTF meetings where my complaint was heard, DA spokesman Alex Bastian, who is always woefully unprepared with written documents and deets, again said their office had been in contact with the City Attorney about this matter and changes in how the DA keeps his calendar had been implemented.

No, Bastian said, the alleged changes had not been memorialized in a memo or email between the DA and CA but we just has to believe him that Gascon is acting legally. The SOTF members, as in the past, weren't buying the b.s. Bastian was repeating from previous hearings.

This is my favorite work day for Gascon. Not even an "all-day office meetings" entry. His entire business hour work day is blank. However, ever the ambitious political animal with a hungry eye on running for California attorney general and needing to keep his face and name before voters, he appeared at a neighborhood association meeting.

Press interviews and news conferences and appearances before voters and speaking engagements around town and the nation, all are the most listed events on Gascon's alleged work calendar. 

So much for a DA delivering the goods to taxpayers with genuine sunshine principles the order of the day. 

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