The Burbank Leader Sues City of Burbank Over Public Records Stonewalling

Burbank city officials are getting their Bell on. The city has refused repeated requests from the Burbank Leader to provide an itemized breakdown of the millions in bonuses that have been handed out to city workers in the past three years. The city has only provided info on the general “lump sum” of bonuses from the last fiscal year–but not who got what.

In response, the Leader, part of the LA Times Media Group, has decided to file a lawsuit. “The information must be disclosed, especially in this day and age when city, county, state and federal governments are forced to make difficult and painful cuts,” Leader lawyer Karl Olson wrote in LA Superior Court filings. “The public has an overwhelming right and need to know who Burbank is favoring with these bonuses.”

In response to the Leader‘s initial public records request, Burbank chief assistant city attorney Juli Scott said itemized information on individual bonuses couldn’t be released because of privacy concerns. “Certainly no employee, public or private wants or reasonably expects to see their performance evaluation publicly disclosed.”

What they want is immaterial. It’s what the public has a right to know.

H/T LA Observed