Law expert scrutinizes Atascadero policies



The fray over recent possible Records Act violations in Atascadero has prompted a group of city residents to pursue justice through Californians Aware, a nonprofit agency with a focus on holding government officials accountable for their actions.

Terry Francke a widely recognized expert on open government laws and First Amendment issues has been called on by the Atascadero Homeowners Association to speak on the need for transparency and openness in government with a focus on alleged violations by Atascadero city staff and officials.

City leaders have been besieged with allegations that they regularly break the Brown Act, that they have failed to comply with a number of public records requests, and that their policy of purging e-mails after 90 days is a violation of the law.

City officials have repeatedly denied the allegations of illegal acts.

As a public records lawyer and advocate, Francke has said that the actions of the council, the city manager, and the city attorney may have opened the city and its officials up to legal repercussions.

Francke will speak on the requirements of the Brown Act and the California Public Records Act, and how anyone can increase the openness of local public officials. He'll conclude with a chance for members of the audience to ask questions on specific alleged violations by Atascadero officials and city staff.

Francke the Californians Aware general counsel is scheduled to speak at the Pavilion by the Lake in Atascadero on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. The presentation is open to the public, and there's no charge for admission. For more information, call Cindy Sasur at 460-9222.


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