Saturday, January 23, 2016

Mayor's 2-Week Deletion-of-Files Policy Under SOTF Review

Here's the update on my Sunshine Ordinance Task Force complaint against the Mayor's Office and Ed Lee's policy, approved by City Attorney Dennis Herrera (no friend of open govt), allowing his staff to delete public records after retaining them for only two-weeks.

On January 11, the SOTF's committee for education and outreach heard my concerns and two representatives from the Mayor's Office defended the destruction of City Hall files. The complaint stems from my public records request for a copy of Mayor Lee's chief of staff Steve Kawa's calendar and the response stating his calendars were deleted every two-weeks.

The committee ruled my complaint was valid and it's been forwarded to the full task force for further review, tentatively scheduled for March 2. Committee members said the Mayor's Office may have violated sunshine laws over "failure to maintain records in a professional manner."

While I'm not pleased this complaint will take three-months to be fully adjudicated by the SOTF, as mayoral records are routinely shredded thus denying the public access to them, at least we have the SOTF to bring more transparency to City Hall.

Every two-weeks, I file a new request with the Mayor's Office for Kawa's schedule, which is the only way currently to retain this City Hall powerbroker's calendar. What amount of public records are regularly destroyed by Ed Lee's advisers? We need a lot of answers to that question.

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