Water District Appears to Be Stonewalling For Disgraceful Director


Round round get around...

On April 14, I made a public records request of the Municipal Water District of Orange County to get the travel related expenses of Director Brett Barbre. You remember this fine fellow, don’t you? He’s the guy who was paid $48,000 by Tom Daly to “study” the idea of a sports hall of fame. He also kicked back $1000 into Daly’s campaign kitty. Now that doesn’t look very good does it? Especially for a Republican. Or for any honest man, really.

Part of Barbre’s supposed labors for Daly included a trip to Boston to visit some sports museum there (he never even bothered contacting the folks who started the first one right here in OC!). In his ‘report” he documented a side trip to Fenway Park. Barbre’s later plaint to Jennifer Muir that he paid for that Boston trip himself seems to have made an impression on the lassitudinous journalistic curiosity of Ms Muir, but not on mine. I wanted to find out if maybe the Boston junket itself wasn’t some sort of side trip already paid for by the Water District. I’ve just become so darn cynical when it comes to repuglicans.

And so I asked for Barbre’s travel expenses for the district.

Two week later on April, 28th (four days late) I got the District’s response from someone called Darcy M. Burke, Director of Public Affairs. I received no documents at all. What I got was an e-mail that attached a simple spreadsheet tallying Barbre’s expenses into periodic totals, presumably assembled by Burke. Not a single bit of specific information did I receive although I did get an unsolicited commercial about how much Director Barbre’s junketeering brings home to the Water District. Hmm.

Okay. So now I was really really curious about why they’re not releasing documents – just regurgitated, masticated, and useless pabulum.

Since April 28th I have left several messages and sent several e-mails following up with a demand for the specifics that should have been provided in the first place. All my efforts to communicate with the Water District’s Director of Public Affairs were met with a stony silence, until yesterday when Burke informed me that these things take time. And that only makes me more curious than ever about why she might be stonewalling.

Think they’re trying to hide something?

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  1. #1 by Joe Sipowicz on May 12, 2010

    I would be very surprised if he/she weren’t hiding something. That’s what they do.

    And the object lesson for everybody is this: be as precise as possible about the documents you want. They will use any generalities in your request to “misinterpret” what you want.

  2. #2 by Farsical on May 12, 2010

    Of course he is hiding something. Last time you guys did one of these on him, Barbre came out looking like a real scum bag.

    If he wasn’t trying to cover his tracks then he would have given you all the records right up front.

  3. #3 by Anonymous on May 12, 2010

    Hey, you’re turning into journalists after all.

  4. #4 by dkmfan on May 12, 2010

    I was just reading about this at The OC WATCHDOG. They were right on top of it.

    HA.

    This is some good shit Bush, putting that together. I gotta believe they are scrambling over there right now, having ratepayers not only pay for his scam PLUS the lawyer that they’ll hire to fight your request.

    He and Cunningham outta start a business.

  5. #5 by van get it da artiste on May 12, 2010

    I am confused by Brett Barbre’s role as director of municipal water district of OC and his role as a scout for a sports hall of fame in the OC. These two roles seem incongruent. How does a director of a water district segway into investigating the viability of a sports hall of fame. My main concern is whether tax dollars was used to fund Barbre’s junket to Boston.

  6. #6 by anonymous on May 12, 2010

    there is a time limit to produce the documentation. Talk to the AG Office in Sacramento and file the complaint of non-compliance to your request against MWD. This is governed by state statute. They are stonewalling on this and the backup information that they, as a special district, are required to produce.

  7. #7 by anonymous on May 12, 2010

    Lawyer cannot fight the request. You have a generic request that they cannot avoid producing the documentation. You have asked for travel documentation for a specific time frame. They have to produce it.

  8. #8 by anonymous on May 12, 2010

    a quarter bet that the Boston trip was billed to and paid for by MWD

  9. #9 by joe on May 12, 2010

    How about reqsting any emails from brett barbe he PR rep, burke, that involve your resquest?

    sound simple!

  10. #10 by anonymous on May 12, 2010

    yes to that as well-include counsel, the pio person, anything involving the request and the subject of barbre

  11. #11 by I loath ASSCLOWNS on May 12, 2010

    Well from the looks of things I’m sure that alot of the money was spent on food because that Brett Barbre guy keeps getting fatter and fatter with every bullcrap contract he gets. But keep at it FFFF – this guy is an assclown with no sense of ethics nor party loyalty. He was in bed with AssClown Maximus Tom Daly. I’m sure he is in bed with many dems.

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