Monday, March 14, 2011

Brooks could face $500 fine

In the Journal this morning, link, we read;

The Senate, on a vote of 32-5, also approved and sent to the House bill providing for a fine of up to $500 for someone who "knowingly and in bad faith" withholds documents that are subject to the Inspection of Public Records Act. Keller, the sponsor of Senate Bill 271, said the aim is to "get at the decision-maker" who, for example, would order a clerk not to provide public records. The original version of the bill provided for criminal penalties but those were removed by committees, leaving just the fine.

If the bill is actually signed into law, APS Supt Winston Brooks could be fined personally for the hiding of a public record; the Caswell Report on public corruption in the leadership of the APS.

Before that fine were levied of course, thousands and thousands of operational (classroom) dollars would be paid to the Modrall law firm in efforts to litigate an exception for Brooks, from accountability to the law.

We should not be surprised if the Board passes some kind of policy that protects Brooks from fines and passes them on to tax payers.

Though the fines seem like a step forward, one has to wonder why the "committees" removed the criminal penalties for unlawfully hiding the truth.

It would be nice, if all we had to do was go to a searchable archive and pull up videotape of the committee meetings and the legislators who voted to let public servants, like Brooks, slide on criminal accountability for betraying the public trust. That is not possible of course, since robust webcasting to a searchable archive is at best, a distant reality.

I would not be surprised to find, the legislators who stripped the criminal penalties are probably the same ones who are blocking robust webcasting to a searchable archive.

The Bill doesn't provide any consequences at all for those
who are complicit or complacent in the effort to unlawfully
hide the truth about the spending of public power and resources.

People like Marty Esquivel, Paula Maes, and Kent Walz
all get off scot free, wikilink.

photo Mark Bralley

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brooks and the Board end up keeping their secrets, and we end up paying for it.
Don't need a crystal ball to know how that's gonna turn out!