City of Walnut in hot water again?

Not too long after the DA issued a warning to the city of Walnut for alleged state open meeting law violations, Rick McKee with the government watchdog group Californians Aware is accusing the City Council of doing it again.

The initial DA warning was prompted by an Aug. 13 meeting in which the council went into closed session to discuss the qualifications of a certain employee to act as “liaison to the City of Industry with respect to pending projects of concern to Walnut.”

Instead, in the meeting, council members were polled by Mayor Joaquin Lim on whether they would support a resolution to oppose the construction of an NFL stadium in neighboring Industry, according to this story by reporter Bethania Palma.

Well according to a complaint sent to the city by McKee very early this morning, the council took action on yet another four unagendized items relating the proposed NFL stadium at its Sept. 24 meeting.

City administration acknowledges that, on September 24, 2008, “the City Council took action to establish a citizen’s task Force as a five member panel charged with monitoring the proposed stadium project and providing the City Council with advisory input.” (Agenda Backup, Item 8, October 8, 2008.)

Thus effectively, by employing surprise, the Council’s discussion and action on these four unagendized items of business denied the people their right to proper notice, thereby depriving interested members of the public the opportunity to comment directly to the City Council on these items before action was taken – - rights guaranteed by the Brown Act ( 54954.2 and 54954.3) and Article 1, section 3 of the California Constitution.

Most disconcerting is the fact that these violations come only 14 after the Council’s warning by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office of the Council’s Brown Act violations of August 13.

Cure Demanded: The City Council, as required by 54960.1, shall rescind the action taken on each of these four non-agendized items of business, identified above.

The complaint was also sent to the DA’s public integrity unit.

I’m sure we’ll be following this story today….

In the meantime, here’s the complaint:Walnut_-_Brown_Act_Demand_10-6-08-1.doc