Today the city of Anaheim is taking heavy criticism for its failure to providing open public records. Today’s story from the Voice of OC reinforces my own experience in the lack of transparency, accountability and compliance with state public records laws within Anaheim city hall.
A little while back the city of Anaheim was asked for copies of six months of telephone logs for Harry Sidhu’s campaign manager, Annie Mezzacappa, who also happens to be a city employee. There was reason to believe that Mezzacappa was doing campaign work for Sidhu while on the clock for the city. That’s a big no-no.
After 24 days of stalling by City Clerk Linda Andal, the city sent back a list of three phone calls made on the same day back in January.
Three phone calls in 6 months. We can either conclude that either Annie Mezzacappa doesn’t know how to use her telephone or the city of Anaheim is covering for her by violating the public records act. So which is it?
When questioned about the missing records, Deputy City Attorney Bryn Morley did not seem to think there was anything unusual about an employee who only makes three phone calls in six months. The city attorney had no excuse for the missing records and declined to give any further explanation.
Delaying, denying and obstructing public records requests is a hallmark of a government with something to hide. Apparently that’s the way it goes in Anaheim.