Blogging Bayport Alameda

November 7, 2019

Redact, don’t do it

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

So we’re getting a release of the tape, sort of.

At the end of last night’s meeting, which had an unfortunate replay of the Marilyn Ezzy-Ashcraft vs Trish Spencer dynamic that made us all cringe when Trish Spencer was in the mayor’s chair, the City Council took up the question of the tape.

In the report out from closed session there were two votes on two motions which we do not know what the motions were but both Malia Vella and Jim Oddie recused themselves from the items.

The first motion the vote was 1 – 2 which John Knox White voting yes and Marilyn Ezzy Ashcaft and Tony Daysog voting no.

The second motion the vote was a unanimous 3 – 0.

And then came the report out from the City Attorney which pretty much spells out everything, it’s here:

On April 16, 2018, three unrecused Council members (Spencer, Ezzy Ashcraft and Matarrese) declined to reimburse Councilmember Vella for attorney’s fees she incurred in connection with the City’s administrative investigation relating to the Keimach matter. One day later, on April 17, 2018, Councilmember Vella filed a formal claim against the City, alleging defamation, invasion of privacy, and again requested reimbursement of attorney’s fees. In sum, Councilmember Vella requests reimbursement of approximately $93,000 in attorney’s fees, which she incurred in connection with the City’s administrative investigation. The City never acted-on or rejected the April 17th claim, thus, it is deemed rejected by operation of law after 45 days of inaction by the City. This Council is not prepared to further reimburse Councilmember Vella for attorney’s fees incurred during the City’s administrative investigation (the approximately $93,000 requested) or pay additional public funds to settle Council Member Vella’s other claims. Thus, the Council directed the City Attorney to formally reject the pending claims.

Additionally, the Council directed the City Attorney to release the tape made by Keimach with appropriate redactions authorized by law in response to pending Public Records Act requests. The Council has, in particular, authorized the preparation of a transcript, entirely at the City’s expense, for purposes of redaction and public release. Council further authorized the City Attorney to execute appropriate conflict waivers to permit attorneys from the law firm of Remcho Johansen and Purcell to represent the City in these matters, under the direction of the City Attorney.

So we’ll be getting a transcript but it will contain redactions, I’m assuming, in the case there is employee information or something like that.  It will be done by a law firm who, I don’t recall, ever seeing the City contract with before in the past but it’s a pretty well known law firm doing work for government-y type law.  Hopefully this should head off any complaints about the redactions not showing the full extent of the tape since it will be done by separate entity.   But, inevitably, if the transcript doesn’t show people exactly what they want there will be complaints about the redactions and if we had the full recording without redactions it would prove whatever thesis that person is attempting to push forward.

5 Comments »

  1. “Additionally, the Council directed the City Attorney to release the tape made by Keimach with appropriate redactions authorized by law in response to pending Public Records Act requests. The Council has, in particular, authorized the preparation of a transcript, entirely at the City’s expense, for purposes of redaction and public release.”

    Is this supposed to mean that the Council did not, in fact, direct the City Attorney to “release the tape” but, instead, a transcript of the “tape”? Or has the City Council deemed “the tape” itself age-appropriate for the voting masses and fit for release (minus bleeped passages) and will supplement the released “tape” with a redacted transcript? I so much hope it is the former; the latter risks much disruption amongst the “rabble”.

    Mr. Cambra, let us pick up the “conversation” where we left it yesterday. By the way, sir, are we having a “conversation”, which I – but maybe not you – associate with the spoken word – with all its layers of inflection, timing, tone of voice, etc., which give additional (or perhaps contrary) meaning to the choice of words; or is this an exchange of written words? I hope some of satirical tone I intend comes through on your glowing screen.

    I ask, in part, because we have been told that the “tape” contains the words “thank you for not pressuring me”. Might the tone, timing, and other elements of the spoken word better inform the listener whether those words were meant as instruction or direction, as opposed, to an accurate description of what had occurred and an earnest expression of gratitude?

    Comment by MP — November 7, 2019 @ 7:20 am

    • I think you can probably request the tape but that the transcript will come first and requests won’t be charged to the person requesting it. I’m sending off a PRA now, so I’ll keep everyone updated.

      Comment by Lauren Do — November 7, 2019 @ 9:05 am

      • Thanks

        Comment by MP — November 7, 2019 @ 9:32 am

        • Here’s the City Attorney’s response when I made the PRA:

          The City is currently in the process of transcribing the recording to allow redaction. Once the recording has been transcribed and redacted, which we expect will be by the end of the week of November 11th, the City will make the redacted transcript and electronic versions of the recording available as soon as possible. We will notify you when the transcript and the recording are available, with instructions about how they may be obtained from the City.

          Comment by Lauren Do — November 7, 2019 @ 9:36 am

        • That was fast! Thank you.

          Comment by MP — November 7, 2019 @ 9:40 am


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Say what you want

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.