Final request for public records

To: Modesto City Council, Jack Crist, Mike Milich, and Jean Zahr.

It is obvious that all attempts to secure the public documents that I have requested will be met with silence.

Therefore on June 16th, 2004 we will ask the Superior Court of Stanislaus County to enforce those rights guaranteed by the public records act.

Thank you,
Carmen Sabatino

HAND DELIVERED

To: Modesto City Council, Jack Crist, Mike Milich, and Jean Zahr

From: Full Disclosure Now, Carmen Sabatino

Subject: Legal bill for Janice Keating

Declaration by Carmen Sabatino to obtain records of legal bills for Janice Keating, under the Public Records Act. As Mayor of Modesto and as a private citizen I have made multiple requests for documents under the Public Records Act. This declaration exhausts my administrative request for these public documents.

City Attorney Michael Milich states the records were given to the City Manager and are no
longer in his office. The City Manager, Jack Crist, has stated that he will not release the
documents under the advice of the City Attorney.

City Attorney Michael Milich, and City Manager Jack Crist have refused to provide the documents. The request is limited to the legal expenses incurred by the taxpayers over Janice Keating’s legal problems
.
Background:

During a publicly noticed City of Modesto Finance Committee Meeting, Council Member Janice Keating made remarks about a city employee that led to a complaint, by that employee, on the basis of Sex and Age discrimination. Without consultation with the Mayor Mr. Milich hired an outside attorney to investigate and defend Council Member Keating.

The behavior of Council Member Keating put the City of Modesto at risk and led to her removal from the Finance Committee by Mayor Sabatino.

As a result, Council Members Keating, O’Bryant, and Conrad solicited the vote of Council Member Fisher, and with the assistance of the City Attorney violated the Brown Act. By a vote of four to three they succeeded in passing an ordinance that stripped the sitting Mayor from his power to appoint committee members. Keating, O’Bryant, and Conrad appointed themselves to membership of various committees, while removing the Mayor from the Finance Committee.

The employee was given an $18,000 per year raise and the matter was apparently closed. It should be noted that Keating was attempting to replace the employee who was later given this raise in pay.

When City Manager Jack Crist was asked about the status of the case he replied, “ Pay (the employee) now, or pay (the employee) later.”

We are only asking for the legal bills at this time. We are discovering that the employee raise and the actions of the City Attorney present “questionable” negotiations in the attempted resolution of this matter.

Finally, it is possible that the matter was settled for an additional amount. The taxpayers have every right to know what is being done with their tax dollars.

Respectfully submitted,

Carmen Sabatino April 9, 2004