Wednesday, March 17, 2010

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis outside the law regarding public records requests on prosecutions?

DA Watch: Update 1
March 17, 2010
Voice of San Diego

I called district attorney spokesman Paul Levikow this morning to see whether the office would hand over a copy of public records without charging us $1,354 after we published this post yesterday. I left a message. No response yet.

So then I sent an e-mail to Levikow and other staffers requesting an interview with District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. I want to know whether she supports the office's fees, which open government advocates call outside the law. No response so far...

In December, I requested all data related to DA cases involving the state's gang enhancement charge in the last decade. The office said providing the data would take "a very substantial expenditure of agency resources for little public benefit," so it proposed a smaller set of data that includes basic case information. That smaller set would still cost $1,354, though.

We are seeking information about when prosecutors accuse people with committing crimes for the benefit of street gangs. Prosecutors have used the charge in controversial cases recently, so we want to examine its use in the last decade.

Since we published our story Tuesday, other San Diego journalists have also contacted me about being stonewalled by the District Attorney's Office in the past.

These comments have been posted online by readers:

Good luck Keegan. This DA's office is impossibly out of control. I have never seen such arrogance from a public office even when they must know they are wrong. Heck ... they even argue against the attorney general. -- Bill Paul

Keep after Princess Dumanis. Take it to the Grand Jury. Expose the autocratic management that despises openness and access. -- David Cohen

Can you post the details of your data request? I'm a computer engineer that works with large SQL databases on a daily basis. Even ignoring 5.5 hours of "programming time," 16 hours of running time on a SQL database is utterly absurd. -- David Martin...


Elisa Betancourt said...

Budget Cuts Hurt Kids and Every Teacher is an Individual of Great Worth

The Superintendent has failed to point out some very important facts:

The $21,004,830 reserve from the general fund is $1,962,284 more than the adopted budget of September 15th.

The approximately 100 teachers that would lose their jobs because of an increase of 4 students to each K-3 class, have already been notified that their contracts end this year.

The Superintendent has not taken into account the federal education jobs packages or the other proposed legislation that would assist in hiring these teachers back and restoring class sizes.

The Superintendent can show he respects teachers by:

Not using this crisis to pit teacher against teacher, threatnening job losses and accusing the Union of playing favorties.

Encouraging parents to contact legislators, both state and federal, to try and push through helpful legislation to protect funding and save jobs.

Not asking teachers, to shoulder the burden of a broken system of funding for public education.

Looking at all options, just as other school districts all across the state are doing.

Please call School Board Members and the Superintendent
You can make the difference for our students!

Russell Y. Coronado, President

Larry Cunningham, Vice President

Douglas E. Luffborough III

David Bejarano

Pamela B. Smith

Lowell J. Billings Ed.D, Superintendent
619.425.9600 ext. 1300

It has been my personal experience that once this man makes up his mind, it's done - and yet, I have seen parents form and unite and speak as one big voice against him... the results were astonishing.

He was actually worried that we the parents might get our say in the end - I know we can do this, but we must each make the call and send the email. It really will make a difference.

Guilty before proven Guilty said...

Sheriff signed a bogus fugitive complaint and had mother of ten kidnapped to Virgina and held in jail hidden for 8 months with no trial, convicted her and left her stranded in Virgina.

Bonnie Dumanis is fully aware and she is protecting her gang,

Please contact 760-332-8189