Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The two faces of Marty Esquivel

As a media lawyer, Marty Esquivel argues that a district court judge had no business closing a preliminary hearing to the public.  His argument; the public interests are not served by unnecessary secrecy.  He expressed additional outrage that the closure was made without any explanation or defense; it was just simply done.

The Journal reports, link, "... Esquivel complained that they were at a “tremendous disadvantage” because no one could even tell them what the basis for the sealing was because it (the justification) also was sealed.

As the APS School Board President, Esquivel has sealed the APS superintendent's evaluation process, without offering any public explanation or justification for sealing the entire process.

Media lawyer Esquivel argued; “I would add that we’re at a tremendous disadvantage by not having access to the documents,” he said. “I have not seen a situation like this before.”

As School Board President, Esquivel is orchestrating exactly the situation he claims never to have seen.   He has sealed the entire process and he has sealed (by omission) the justification for having so done.

His evaluation process has not released a single document used in the evaluation; not the records the law would allow them to produce and, not the records the law would insist they produce (if anyone was willing to sue them to see them).

They haven't produced a single thing except for their meaningless assurance that we can trust them when they meet in secret.

The public interests are at a tremendous disadvantage by not having access to the documents used in Brooks' evaluation, if you buy media lawyer Esquivel's own argument.

"... it became clear during the hearing that the reason for the sealing order – which also kept all the records in the case hidden from public view – was to ..." conceal the truth.

It is clear the reason Esquivel and the board want to seal the evaluation process and the justification for sealing the entire process, is to conceal the truth; conceal the truth beyond the requirements of the law.  If the truth makes you look competence, if the truth makes you look like you have character and moral courage, why would you hide it?

Because Esquivel is the media's lawyer, the media (the Journal) will not get worked up over Esquivel's decision to seal his process; not like they did when a district court judge, apparently not a crony of theirs, tried to seal the public out of decision making that affects their interests.

Esquivel the media lawyer argued, link, "... his client believes closing the courtroom should be a last resort."

Closing the Board's evaluation process was not their last resort.
It was Esquivel and the board's first instinct.
It was their knee jerk response.
It's the way they roll;
close the doors, hide the records.

You can't be hurt by the truth
if you can hide it.

illustration Mark Bralley

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