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Confidential City Records Released without Approval: Just the Facts

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By Dave Freneaux

   In November and December Central’s City Council voted unanimously to protect the legal interests of the city.  The vote was to keep certain entries in legal invoices confidential and not release them to the public.  Against the unanimous vote of the City Council and against advice of legal counsel, Council Member Tony LoBue handed these records, unredacted, to six private citizens at a committee meeting on Monday.  A video of the meeting can be seen online at www.CentralSpeaks.com by clicking on the CentralSpeaksTV logo at the top of any page.

    On Monday, April 11th, the committee chaired by Council Member Tony LoBue to study the feasibility of hiring a full time city attorney met at City Hall.  During the course of the meeting Council Member LoBue handed out all legal bills to the City of Central from July 1, 2010 through February 28, 2011.  The July through October bills had previously been released with certain items redacted which pertained to current or potential litigation.  The copies handed out by LoBue on Monday were not redacted, meaning that the confidential information was available for these citizens to review without approval of the City Council, the Mayor or the City Attorney.  The billing records for November of 2010 through February of 2011 have never been reviewed by the Council or the City Attorney to determine if there were items in these bills which needed to remain confidential.

   After the 12:30 PM Monday meeting, Council Member LoBue consulted with City Attorney Sheri Morris and was advised that LoBue should have gone before the council for their approval before passing out the records.  LoBue then was able to get the billing records back from several committee members immediately, but at least three of the committee members had already left with the confidential information.  LoBue stated Monday after 5:00 PM that he was going to pick up the records from the committee members, and on Tuesday morning he reported that he had retrieved all seven copies of the records.  If these billing records are consistent with other legal bills received by the city, there is a note printed at the top of each page of the records stating that the records are confidential and are not to be released or distributed without permission.

    The July and August legal billing records were brought before the City Council in a called meeting on November 22, 2010.  The minutes of the meeting reflect: “Councilman DeJohn made a motion, seconded by Councilman Washington to waive the attorney/client and attorney work product privileges with the exception of two items with the recommendation from Sheri Morris applicable to the July and August 2010 invoices in regards to a public records request. No objections. Motion passed by unanimous consent.” – The two items which the Council voted to protect were handed by LoBue to the citizens, unredacted, on Monday.

    At that same November 22nd meeting Council Member DeJohn asked the question, “We can go get a copy of the invoice just because we are Council Members?”  To which the City Attorney stated to all in attendance, including Mr. LoBue, “We have allowed Council Members to obtain copies so that they can review them outside of normal business hours but you are not allowed to release them.”  Mr. DeJohn added, “As long as everbody understands that, because I would hate to have somebody take something out of there that I might think is a sensitive matter and they not think is sensitive.”

At the December 14th regular City Council meeting the legal bills for September and October were reviewed.  The minutes of the meeting reflect: “A motion was made by Councilman Moak to waive the attorney/client and attorney work product privileges with the exception of three items with the recommendation from Sheri Morris applicable to the September and October 2010 invoices in regards to a public records request. No objections. Motion passed by unanimous consent.” Again, the three items which the Council voted to protect were handed to the citizens, unredacted, on Monday by LoBue.

81 Comments

  1. Another Central resident

    April 14, 2011 at 10:26 am

    I wonder what is so confidential in a town the size of Central.

    • dave

      April 14, 2011 at 10:58 am

      Likely items of current or possible litigation where it could damage Central’s case if opposing counsel knew who our attorneys were consulting or what kinds of motions or tactics we are considering. Could also open us up to being sued if the disclosure somehow could be argued to have damaged a citizen’s standing in a matter. In short, it is done to protect Central in an overly litigious society. That is our City Attorney’s job.

  2. Ted

    April 14, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I can only imagine the comments that would be posted under this article if it would have been reported that the Mayor had passed out such confidential information. Can someone say Double Standard.

  3. Mike Mannino

    April 14, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    This is such a ridiculous matter and is a windfall of her own making for the attorney.Why doesnt she mark what is confidential before filing it instead of having to review records everytime someone asks ? Many things we are using an attorney for do not require legal assistance. This whole contract business is an example. Does not rise to the level of needing an attorney. We write hundreds of contracts very year where I work and I have yet to see an attorney present for any of them. I commend Mr Lobue for the work he is doing and encourage him to keep it up. Permits reduced, working other issues methodically, and asking all the right questions. Maybe that why some dont like it. A couple of more like him and maybe we will have some transparency out here.

    • dave

      April 14, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      Mike,
      This is not about attorneys or contracts or any other work that the Council does. This is about knowing the rules and playing by them. Your argument is like the guy who gets called out for running outside the baselines then claiming that he should not be out because the baselines should be made wider. I, for one, want my elected officials to know the laws and the rules and to know what conduct and actions are permitted, and I want them to act accordingly. LoBue and the entire City Council reviewed these records and voted in November and December to have five specific items redacted and NOT made public specifically to protect the legal interests of the City of Central. These are the SAME documents and he released them completely unredacted. Why is it OK for one Council Member to unilaterally decide that all of the other Council Members, the Mayor, and the City Attorney must not have known what is best for the City in keeping these records confidential? This does not even BEGIN to address the issue of the records that have not even been reviewed for the purpose of release to the public.

      Trying to make this grossly negligent act go away by claiming that the process of legal billing is flawed is simply a diversion tactic. If you have improvements you want made in the legal billing process, sit down with a council member and work through the system to get it changed. Yes, that requires planning and effort…the price reasonable people pay to effect change. Do you see nothing wrong or potentially harmful to Central in what Mr. LoBue did on Monday?

      I fully anticipate that your posts that follow will be a diligent effort to change the subject and blame everyone but LoBue for this obvious irresponsible action. As you post and as others read, just ask the question, does any number of excuses or attempts to blame others justify taking an action that is completely against the unanimous vote of the Council and against the advice of the City Attorney?

      Dave

  4. Ted

    April 14, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Dave I see that NCCC FB seems to take offense to your article but it certainly explains my orignal post. When they do it it’s a normal mistake but when the Mayor does it it’s a conspiracy. lol

  5. Mike Mannino

    April 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Lets put this in context. Tony is the head of a comittee looking at options for legal services. The records were given to committee members. Changes the complection of this doesnt it ? Furthermore, legal coucil can make a reccomendation, and elected official can decide to not take that recomendation. I stand by Tony as he is doing things we have been asking to get done for a while. Hang on to your hat because he has 3 more years. Remember, he was the top vote getter by a large margin. Tells you something.

    • dave

      April 14, 2011 at 7:16 pm

      Mike,
      Part of a committee? That changes nothing. It actually kind of makes it worse. A lone Council Member perpetrating a gaffe like this is bad enough, but doing it under the auspices of a committee analyzing legal representation for the City of Central is totally ironic and risks damaging the standing and purpose of the entire committee.

      Yes, the Council can act contrary to the advice of our attorney but the Council, by unanimous vote, has already spoken and chosen to heed the advice of our hired legal expert. You insinuate that LoBue intentionally ignored the advice of counsel in releasing the unredacted documents. I have never said it was malicious, just wrong. So with the entire Council voting unanimously to heed legal advice, are you saying that one Council Member acting alone contrary to the decision of the Council is acceptable?

      As to how many votes who got, you can only ride that horse so far, and that nag is getting pretty tired. I live in a democratic republic and we have five Council Members, duly elected. Are you saying that somehow Mr. LoBue’s words and thoughts and votes are more important or correct than Council Member Messina’s or Council Member DeJohn’s. Besides, like I said, just more diversion. If you want to be taken seriously, address the real questions of the ill advised action.

  6. Ted

    April 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Obama was the top vote getter also.

  7. Mike Mannino

    April 14, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Dave,
    You might consider giving this the same weight as you have much bigger “mistakes” made by city officials that you have ignored. I think its hypocritical to defend some of the things you have in the past and make such a big deal about this.

    I can tell you from the things that were redacted in my records request, I’m betting that there was nothing there that rose to the level of confidential. The mayors own private attorney admitted that in a council meeting. BTW, he was a private citizen, not retained by the city, and he was allowed to view the ENTIRE file. So wheres the outrage about that ?

    Mr Lobue is as good and honest man as you would ever want to meet. In addition, he is very well educated and knows what is confidential and what is not. So what if he took upon himself to judge what could be released. Nothing says the attorney HAS to review anything. She is there if someone needs advice not to dictate every decision this city makes. In my opinion, Tony saved us some money. And I’m betting some of those records are the ones she has already said were OK to release when I made the request. Tony did NOT release to teh general public. In fact, you were at the meeting and asked for a copy and did not get them right ?

    Lastly, you are comparing apples and oranges. The council vote in the past was tied to a specific request by me. This was not a request, it was a council member bringing data to his committe for review to help them in their analysis involving hiring a full time attorney. Shame this wont be in the paper everyone picks up. As was posted on Facebook, sometimes, partial facts are as damaging as outright lies. This seems to be the case here.

    • dave

      April 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      Mike,
      I can’t do your comments justice from my iPhone. I will fully respond later. But, I will say this. I, and many, are tired of hearing you say people have broken rules or laws yet steadfastly refuse to make your accusations specifically. Name the crime, name names, call the cops, call the attorney general, call the FBI, be specific. Fish or cut bait. You can’t tarnish a reputation or damage someone’s credibility by hinting there might have been wrongdoing and winking alot.

    • dave

      April 14, 2011 at 9:01 pm

      Mike,

      Do your research, listen to the City Council meeting tapes, the attorney you refer to is the Mayor’s personal attorney and he worked, “pro bono” (at no charge) for the Mayor’s office. Indeed the Mayor, as well as the Council, can engage an attorney (read the Lawrason Act). The only thing the Mayor can’t do in that regard is to spend unbudgeted city money, which he did not since the work was pro-bono. So, no outrage here.

      I never said LoBue was not honest. As to knowing what is confidential and what is not, the ENTIRE COUNCIL has already made that determination with regard to those specific documents. Why do you think one lone Council member has the right to over-rule the ENTIRE COUNCIL? Not sure why I ask you any questions in these posts, because I know full well you won’t answer them. Gotta ask anyway.

      You are right, LoBue refused to give me a copy of the paperwork he passed out to the other citizens in the room, which should have been his first clue that what he was doing was potentially out of bounds, even if he did not remember being instructed on the issue in November’s Council meeting. There seems to be some misunderstanding of what a Council Member is and what a committee is. Council members have very specific authority to enact legislation, and that is about all, and THEN, ONLY during a duly advertised meeting of the City Council. After the meeting is adjourned, they are but mere citizens, just like you and me. Being asked to serve on or chair a committee is a privilege and, once accepted, a civic duty. It does not empower anyone and it does not give them any rights greater than the citizens they have volunteered to serve. If anything, serving on a committee, and especially being elected to serve on the City Council, carries with it a duty to hold yourself to a higher standard of conduct and to prepare and inform yourself even more than the average citizen.

      Lastly, you misdirect by trying to justify the handing out of confidential data because the committee was studying the City’s legal services. These are not, with the exception of Mr. Barnes, attorneys, and they were not assembled to discuss technical legal matters. All that committee needs is the categories the legal fees were spent in, and how much was spent. Could have been compiled by City staff in a few hours and all detailed billing references could have been left out. This is a simple analysis of whether the City of Central would be well-served by hiring in-house legal counsel.

      Lastly, you call my writing “partial facts”…so give me the rest of the facts. Did something pertinent transpire in the meeting that I failed to disclose. Heck, I had the entire meeting videotaped, posted every second of it on line, and told everyone in the first paragraph of the article that the meeting can be viewed on line, then I paid to mail that paper, with the detailed instructions of how to find the video on http://www.CentralSpeaks.com, to 8,156 homes and businesses and my wife and and a friend drove all around Central and placed those same newspapers, free, in businesses all over Central, just so EVERYONE could know the ENTIRE, UNEDITED, COMPLETE truth of what happened at Monday’s meeting. THAT is transparency. Hinting that the guy who tapes virtually EVERY public meeting and posts them all on line for everyone to see is presenting less than the whole story is patently absurd.

  8. Ray

    April 14, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Mike,
    Only Mr Lobue knows his intent for passing out unredacted legal bills. At the very least he must have felt he was in error because they were all retrieved within 24 hrs. BTW, thanks for your work on the City Services Committee.

  9. Mike Mannino

    April 14, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Dave,
    The events I have referred to are very well discussed in this forum on previous dates. No new accussations. So same to you, if Mr Lobue is a criminal, have him arrested. I happen to like it when people get of enough of others skirting rules and decide they will respond in kind. Only thing I dont think Mr Lobue broke any rules or laws. Nothing says he cant do what he did, in fact Ms Morris told the council in a meeting they could show me anything I wanted, unredacted. So whats the big deal. Not a thing wrong with what he did. An official committee sactioned by the council got some records needed to make a decision relevent to their work. They are bound by the same rules as officials to not share this information.
    I must say that I think of you as a very intellegent man. We very seldom agree but most of our debates are phylosophical in nature. This article though is not and is totally out of character for you. I cant imagine what your motivation is when I have seen you defend actions much worse than this on previous “mistakes”. I’m done here as Ive made my point. But you not only missed the boat on this, but you missed the entire fleet probably because you didnt have a ticket in the first place.

    • dave

      April 14, 2011 at 9:14 pm

      Mike,

      I have NEVER even hinted that Mr. LoBue did anything malicious or that the release of the confidential documents was premeditated. You, on the other hand, have hinted that he might have intentionally ignored legal counsel. Nope, I’m clean here. Read every post and read the article. I reported what happened, not what anyone was thinking or why anyone did what they did.

      Please tell me in which Council meeting Ms. Morris told the Council they could show me anything they wanted. At best, she said that they could do so and open up the City to potential lawsuits. That is why the Council opted to redact a few potentially problematic issues.

      Again, do your homework, listen to the Council tapes. This was NOT “an official committee sanctioned by the Council”, it was a committee assembled by the Mayor, who did the Council the courtesy of allowing them to select five of the seven members. As such, they are not “bound by the same rules as officials”. Where do you get this stuff? Please give me a refernce and I will read it too. It sounds authoritative and official when you say it all dressed up like that, but it just ain’t so.

      Again, you keep saying “previous mistakes”. Again, fish or cut bait. Give me specifics right out here for everyone to see. Tired of hearing about it, let’s see it. I have often issued this challenge, and am seldom taken up on it: Show me where I told an untruth, I will correct it in print, show me where I presented less than the truth, and I will print the rest. However, be specific, be able to support your assertions, and do your research. Waiting on you.

  10. Mike Mannino

    April 14, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Not waiting on me Dave. I use my name on every post, here, Facebook, wherever, because I will stand behind every word I say to anyone. Dont have time or the inclination to keep debating ancient history. Its there for anyone to see.

    Your slip is showing on this issue and it disappoints me because its not like you no matter how much we disagree on issues.

    • dave

      April 14, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      Mike,

      First point, if you are so committed to standing behind what you say, why give NCCC a free pass to snipe at everyone and not come clean? If NCCC were just hosting the site, I’m all for hiding their identity, but when you start insinuating and insulting and do so while hiding, that is chicken. I’m actually surprised you don’t make a stand on that one.

      So, if I am wrong, why just say I’m wrong and not give me the facts to back it up? I also see that you say you have not even watched the video of the meeting. How are you able, in good conscience, to criticize ME over what transpired when you have not even bothered to see for yourself? THAT is just wrong.

      Dave

  11. Ray

    April 14, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    Dave, what is NCCC?

  12. Lyn Camus

    April 14, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Ok, so Mr. LoBue made a mistake–he owned up to it immediately, he did not make any attempt to cover it up or make things easier on himself, instead he did everything he could to correct the mistake as quickly as possible. I’m not comparing his actions to anyone else’s, and I’m not accusing anyone else of anything. I am not referring to any past issues or previous debates, and I have no intention of using this article or this incident to join in any current or future debate on any other issues.

    What I am stating is that in my opinion this article was written with the intent to paint Mr. LoBue’s actions in the worst possible light, and it is far from an objective reporting of just the facts. No accusations here, you didn’t leave anything out, you didn’t add anything that didn’t happen in. No big deal, everyone is entitled to their opinion. You can stand by your article and say you are “Clean” and proud of your work, and that is fine. Just understand there are those who were/are offended by this article, I am not hesitant to say I am one of them, and I have a feeling I am not alone.

    Mr. LoBue is an honest man and he has worked hard since he was elected. He earned my and my family’s support a long time ago, and your article has only strengthened our respect for him and his willingness to take care of his responsibilities no matter what the challenges are. Again, I doubt I am alone in those feelings.

    Although it was not my intent when I started writing this comment, I now want to thank you for writing this article. Without it I would not have had the opportunity to say Thank You to Mr. LoBue in print! I hope Mr. LoBue knows that we are standing behind him, and that we are proud of him. We are all only human after all, and as I teach my child–we all make mistakes, it’s what you do once you discover you’ve made a mistake that is important, and those actions show your true character. Thank you for your hard work and dedicated service Mr. LoBue!!!

    • dave

      April 14, 2011 at 11:20 pm

      Lyn,

      I respect your position and your right to state it. You prompt me to go a step farther and give the rest of the story behind the article. I came to the three people I trust the most to have pure motives and keep me somewhere near the center. I explained the events, and we discussed whether I could, in good faith, AVOID printing the facts and still claim to report the news in Central. The single biggest controversy in Central’s short life has been the public’s access to confidential records. Probably the single largest Public Records Request in the history of the state, especially relative to the size of the public entity, happened less than a year ago right here in central. An ongoing lawsuit seeking records from the City’s primary private contractor over the same issue, the definition of public records. More time consumed in the past 9 months in City Council meetings on the public records issue than any other single issue. More legal fees generated over this issue than anything Central has done since the initial incorporation and lawsuit. More words printed in newspapers about this single issue than anything else in town, including CHS football. Some of the VERY records at the center of most of the controversy, legal bills to the City, are voted by the City Council to remain confidential, then three copies of these same records walk out of City Hall and some are not seen again for 18 hours. The three people I trust most, and they are NOT anyone of any importance or prominence in Central, asked me the question, “How can you NOT print this story and feel you have reported the news to Central?” Lyn, I could not give a good answer that included NOT printing the facts, and I backed them up with the actual video for complete disclosure and transparency.

      I am actually very thankful for your post, as it prompted me to articulate those preceeding thoughts. I am also very appreciative for your comments “No accusations here, you didn’t leave anything out, you didn’t add anything that didn’t happen”, because that is pretty much all I can strive to do, and if I came reasonably close, that is a comfort. If you think of the many mean-spirited and inflamatory ways that this issue could have been written, and the all too easy sensationalistic headlines that could have been placed at the top of the front page in a font twice the size I used at the bottom, you will, I think, see that I tried very hard to be fair. I even intentionally left Mr. LoBue’s name out of the headline. You do not have to look far to find issues of newspapers that capture readers’ attention by using sensationalism and almost incredulous headlines. I am often accused of publishing a “boring” newspaper. I plead guilty….if their definition of interesting is innuendo and bigger than life accusations.

      Enough of all of that. If what I wrote offended you, I am sorry that it did. My intent is to inform, not to offend. However, if in my most reasonable approach to providing information, I offend people from time to time, I will have to deal with some people not liking me, for a moment, or at all in some cases. I suspect that if I am not willing to accept that, I should not publish a newspaper.

      Dave

  13. Mike Mannino

    April 14, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Well put Lyn ! But I still say its no mistake. He is within his rights to make that decision. The voters can decide if he made a mistake. The attorney does not run this city. Or maybe she does ?

  14. kyle

    April 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Lyn:
    I will take your posting and turn it into Woody vs. Mayor Watts and other good community members. Woody prints articles to portray Mayor Watts and other community members in the worst possible light, and it is far from objective reporting of the facts. I support Mayor Watts and think he is a great guy. It just amazes me how when Woody prints something about Mayor Watts and other community members with NO FACTS to back it up, hardly anyone comes to their defense. But when one of Woody’s supporters is alleged to have done something wrong, everyone feels sorry for that person. I agree with Ted. There are definitely double standards.

    I thank you Dave for printing this article to let us know what’s going on. I find it very hard to believe that Mr. Lobue didn’t know what he was doing, especially going through this same issue several times before at council meetings. If indeed this was a “mistake” and he should be forgiven, then I want that rule to apply to everyone else in Central when they make a “mistake”.

    CH2M made a “mistake” in publishing an ad in the Advocate. So, let’s forgive them too just like some want to forgive Mr. Lobue. Keep the standards the same for everyone!

  15. Ray

    April 15, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Mike, if no mistake was made, why were the papers collected?

  16. Dirk

    April 15, 2011 at 1:34 am

    great question ray, i personally wanted to ask mike that question but now that you did im curious as to the answer.
    and dave, i was told tonight by a unnamed source that the papers that Councilman LoBue handed out were marked at the top as ” not to be copied, duplicated or distributed to anyone without clients permisson “. Do you know if that is true or not?

    • dave

      April 15, 2011 at 6:22 am

      I did not get to see the papers he passed out up close, but other redacted legal bills from Ms. Morris’ firm which I have seen do contain that language. I mentioned that in the article. I am comfortable with a YES on that one.

  17. Wade Evans

    April 15, 2011 at 6:04 am

    Mike, you are in middle management at Exxon and are not some Big Timer who is in charge of writing legal contracts, maybe signing as representative for specific job. Exactly what is your official title?
    This is hypocrisy at its finest. Why can’t you put up or shut up about this. You have seen more, done more, know more, are more experienced, well versed, just all around better than all of us but you seem shallow on facts and deep on accusations. Dave has printed an article that is clear and specific and you cannot prove anything otherwise but you still bla bla bla. Read the following and tell me which past or present Central official has done this.Straight From the Dictionary.com site

    mal·fea·sance   
    [mal-fee-zuhns] Show IPA
    –noun Law .
    the performance by a public official of an act that is legally unjustified, harmful, or contrary to law; wrongdoing (used especially of an act in violation of a public trust). Compare misfeasance ( def. 2 ) , nonfeasance.

  18. Kandi

    April 15, 2011 at 7:39 am

    I have to say that his entire issues makes me sad! I am sad for Tony, his family for his friends and all those who care and support him. It is clear that he made a mistake. I am sorry that this happened. I would venture to say…he does to…! My concern is that he clearly saw his wrong and gave effort to correct it! Thank you for that! It speaks volumes. Now we have the backlash!! I have read and read more on multiple sites(all with a heavy heart) while every excuse in the book has been given for why it wasn’t wrong, it’s ok because other people have been wrong so this must counter and cancel each other out. If I could think out loud for a second….what is this doing for Him? All this does is push the truth of the matter deeper and more clearly to the world. It sparks deeper debates that show with clarity how this is a mistake. He is allowed to make mistakes…snap we all are! We shouldn’t be offended that it is being brought out because we like him. Character and integrity are often defined best when we are being refined by fire. We (none of us) are above reproach. Love covers ….words do not!! Again I am sorry that this even happened…but we should also be
    So merciful to consider how we would feel if OUR name or family/friends name was on those papers…and they had been discussed multiple time….as to being kept confidential. I find that if we will humble ourselves and take the wrong(when necessary) it removes the power of others to feel they need to expose and humble us. I hope the entire council can come together and can resolve this. I also hope that in the midst of this storm Tony will plant his feet on the rock. Not puffed up words that will not sustain. I do hope all!!

  19. Another Central resident

    April 15, 2011 at 7:59 am

    It is clear that Mr. Lobue is not falling in line and becoming a yes man to the Mayor like a couple other council members. When I first read this article it appeared to me that this was the first attempt to start smearing Mr. Lobue’s name in public.

    I do not know Mr. Lobue personally but have been following his work since taking office I have been impressed that he is working for the “PEOPLE” of Central and not for a “CERTAIN” few.

    Did Mr. Lobue make a mistake at this meeting, I would say “yes”. Did Mr. Lobue try and hide it or try to fix the mistake. I would say he went above and beyond what others would have done in this same situation and fixed this mistake.

    Without making this a Ms. Morris issue, I think it is time for her to go away. I was glad to see that the school board was not going to retain her services and seek new legal advice.

    • dave

      April 15, 2011 at 8:10 am

      Resident,

      Please see my prior post in response to Ms. Camus. I believe, given the history of this issue, it would have been irresponsible NOT to report, factually, what happened. Please note I did not give any opinion as to what Mr. LoBue’s intentions were. I can’t know that and he is not saying. I believe, and please feel free to correct me, that all I did was to present the chronology of the events. I would welcome a discussion as to how my article is an attempt to “smear” LoBue’s name. Dave@CentralSpeaks.com or 262-3730.

      As to Ms. Morris and the School Board, let’s give the facts. Ms. Morris gave the School Board notice that she no longer wished to serve as their primary legal counsel. There was never an action by the School Board to terminate her services.

      Dave

  20. Mike Mannino

    April 15, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Wade,
    Yo have no idea what I do, what I have done and what I am capable of so be careful what you throw out there buddy. I DO write & SIGN CONTRACTS much bigger than we deal with and there aint a lawyer in site. Working on one right now thats 10M over 5 years and yes I do write them. IF you know anyone at my workplace, ask them. I dont have to make things up. And yes I do know a lot about a lot of things because i have worked from the time I could stand on a cokecase to reach the register at my dads grocery store. Been trapped in that store when riots were going on, being shot at, had guns pulled on me. Done construction work, can work on anything from bicycles to bulldozers.Because when a lot of you were playing during the summers, I was working because my old man is a tough, hard working man that kept a stick on my butt.

    NOT THAT ANY OF THAT IS RELEVENT TO THIS CONVERSATION

    But to your point,
    I will state once again, what Mr Lobue did is not illegal. He doesnt have to take the recommendation of the attorney. Her title is legal COUNCIL. look up the word. Maybe it was ill advised but its not criminal nor is it malpeasance as you boldly throw out. And judging by Ms Morris”s past actions, I seriously doubt there was anything there that was that confidential. And that is from experience ! We are being soaked by attornies out here who turn everything into a crisis that demands a legal opinion and it aint so. If you are OK with that, have at it. Dirk, to answer your question, teh client is the city. TOny is an elected official of said city. If you want to get technical as to how this would be judged in a court of law, he would be within his rights.

    • dave

      April 15, 2011 at 8:24 am

      Mike,

      You keep saying that a Council Member does not have to take the advice of legal Council, and I agree with you on that, although it is dangerous territory to travel since Council Members are not making a decison for themselves personally, rather they are representing the entire City. But, having agreed on that issue, I would really like to hear your opinion on whether a Council Member has the right to take an action that is in direct conflict with the unanimous vote of the entire Council. I expect you to dodge the question, but I feel that since you are so vocal on this, it is a fair and reasonable question. Inquiring minds want to know.

      Dave

  21. Jerry

    April 15, 2011 at 8:21 am

    First let me say I had a LoBue sign in my yard and I voted for him. I think he has high christian morals. However that alone does not qualify you to be an effective councilman. His lack of knowledge in city government has shown itself many times during his time on the city council. I wish to qualify you had to pass a test of some kind on government affairs and ethics. Being rich, popular, or just a nice guy isn’t enough. That’s exactly why we need an attorney as smart as Mrs. Morris to keep the “good guys” from doing something stupid. Tony can’t just ignore the advice from someone obviously smarter than him in legal matters, no more than I should treat my pet for an illness and totally disregard the advice of Dr. LoBue. I’m sorry I can’t give him a pass for doing what he did during this committee meeting (I did watch the video). He knew exactly what he was doing when he passed out all those documents. If not where has he been the last several months?
    It seems that Tony dose not know the difference in the duties of a councilman and that of a mayor. Maybe he spends too much time reading the opinions of CCN and has that confused with fact. I had hoped that he would have turned out do be as fine a councilman as he is a vet but it just isn’t happening. His heart may be in the right place but without a brain to match he puts our city in jeopardy.
    I’ll still vote for someone whom I believe has his morals but I’ll pray they can be an effective and knowledgeable councilman as well.

  22. Jerry

    April 15, 2011 at 8:40 am

    Mike I would love to have a $10M contract with a huge company that hasn’t been approved by an attorney. Seriously Exxon doesn’t have an attorney approve the legal details of a $10M contract? Do they know that? Do you sign the checks too? I can’t imagine but I guess we will all just have to take your word for it like we are supposed to do on everything else you claim.

  23. Lyn Camus

    April 15, 2011 at 8:41 am

    This is a direct quote taken word for word from the video of the committee meeting, these were Mr. LoBue’s words after he informed the committee members about the documentation he provided for their review.

    “Before I go too far I just want to make sure this committee knows that, you know, the sheets before them, umm, handle them in confidential privilege and exclusive use of this committee only. I would make that note, and make it for the record.”

    It is also my understanding that a copy of the documents given to the committee members by Mr. LoBue was requested by a member of the general public at the committee meeting, and that request was denied by the committee and/or Mr. LoBue.

    These pieces of information do not change the fact that the records were distributed to the committee members, but they are additional facts with some bearing on this situation that were not included in your article or comments.

    • dave

      April 15, 2011 at 9:09 am

      Lyn,

      Thanks first for caring enough to watch the video. I think we have made public awareness painfully easy. Second, I agree, LoBue asked the committee to keep the documents confidential. A couple of notes on this. I am simply saying that doing so was out of bounds and such practices potentially put Central in a bad legal and/or financial position. While the individuals who have agreed to serve on these committees may be admirable, honest people, the Citizens of Central did not elect them to be our representatives. We know that our Council Members and our Mayor have the right to be involved in the confidential matters of the City, but no one has given that right to anyone else. It was not Mr. LoBue’s right to make that decision.

  24. Another Central resident

    April 15, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Dave,

    I beg to differ. I spoke with my local school district representative in regards to Ms. Morris resigning once I heard word she had resigned that evening at the school board meeting.

    What I was told that the school board had decided to put out advertisement for legal services. Once the decision was made Ms. Morris was notified of the school boards decision the week before the school board meeting in which she resigned. Ms. Morris decided to resign at that meeting. We can split hairs all day on this topic. I read your article and CCN in regards to the resignation of Ms. Morris and CCN happen to more factual than what CS printed in regards to the word from my school board member representative.

    Jerry,

    I hate to say it but part of your statement of “Being rich, popular,…” will always get politicians elected just look at the current Council and Central Administration.

    Mayor Watts – Business Owner and Popular

    Mr. Dejohn – Busienss Owner
    Mr. Lobue – Business Owner
    Mr. Washington – Business Owner
    Mr. Moak – Business Owner
    Mr. Messina – Popular, nice guy

    Past Council Member

    Lucky Ross – Business Owner
    Joan Lansing – Business Owner

    • dave

      April 15, 2011 at 9:17 am

      Resident,

      Please be careful what actions you attribute to the School Board. You can watch every public School Board meeting on line at CentralSpeaks.com. One of two things happened. Either the School Board voted to put out an advertisement for legal services, or they did not. It did not happen in any school board meeting held in public, check the videos, until AFTER Ms. Morris informed the School Board that she was leaving her position as primary legal counsel. The meeting FOLLOWING her letter is the meeting in which they voted to put out RFP’s for legal services. If you maintain, which I do not, that the decision was made by the School Board prior to her putting them on notice, it would have had to have been done in an illegal meeting without public notice. I trust that did not happen. If your school board member says the decision was made PRIOR to Ms. Morris tendering her letter of intent to leave, THAT …. would be news. I don’t think that happened.

      Dave

    • dave

      April 15, 2011 at 9:19 am

      In case this is the confusion, Ms. Morris’ resignation occurred the Thursday PIOR to the school board meeting.

  25. Mike Mannino

    April 15, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Jerry,
    There is no signing of checks or signing much of anything for that matter in a company that big. The approavl process is through our financial systems that limit your approval amount to your management level. SImple click of the mouse and its done. And no there are no lawyers in the approval chain. Not saying we havent been well versed in teh dos and donts by the legal chain but they leave us to our own with high expectations of compliance. You screw up, you are fired.

    Jerry or John or Joe whoever you are, I challenge anyone who doubts what I say or what I claim to prove I’m not stating facts. Just because some of you sit on the couch and watch TV drinking a beer when you get home from work doesnt mean I do. I have expereinced so much because all I know is work and its wide open. Read till well after midnight on many subjects. So dont go hating on me just because you are lazy.

  26. Mike Mannino

    April 15, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Whats bad is Ln that the member of the general public was DAVE. You would think that little tidbit would be relevent.

  27. Jerry

    April 15, 2011 at 9:44 am

    So, Mike let me get this right. Legal council HAS had helped with those huge contracts. You don’t really just right them up without some advice or council and even after being well versed in the do’s and don’ts if you screw up your fired? Which is it do you do all yourself or with maybe a little legal help?
    By the way did I ever say or have you or anyone else seen me sitting on the couch drinking a beer and being lazy? Nice way to avoid the issue.

  28. Keith Kepper

    April 15, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I think what is relevant, Mike, is your obvious disregard of the need for legal counsel for our city’s officials, a political seat of which I assume you to be aspiring towards. How exactly does that work then when the lawyer hired by our city to give legal direction for our city is ignored or better yet in your perfect world, never even asked? How do you see the operation of a city government that cares nothing for the legal rights of their citizens or the legal pitfalls of their officials actions? Your argument is useless on every side. You stick to your gun that Councilman Lobue has done nothing illegal, however when given the very definition of malfeasance (-the performance by a public official of an act that is legally unjustified, HARMFUL, or contrary to law; wrongdoing (used especially of an ACT IN VIOLATION OF PUBLIC TRUST)) you completely ignore it! Right is not right because it agrees with you, right is right when it does not agree with the definition of wrong! Lobue acted wrongly plain and simple… the policies and procedures that our city government have in place are for our protection and should at the very least be followed by our city’s officials!! It is ironic to me that you of all people would not see the wrong doing in his actions? Although, since Russell or Mayor Watts were not behind this action I guess it is of little interest to you? Your regard for this blatantly irresponsible act only conveys your true desire to dismantle and defame those of your choosing. Maybe you should go reread all your previous posts, they didn’t go ignored.

  29. Mike Mannino

    April 15, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Keith Im consistent buddy. I would take th same stand if Djohn the mayor or anyone else had done this. You dont need to run to the lawyer for every decision. Past practice will suffice. Do you think EBR goes to a lawyer for every little decision ? Which ties into what Jerry asked. I dont have a lawyer tell me the rules. The training is given by procurement officials early in our carrers. We have mechanics that can write and approve spot contracts and do it every day. So its not that big a deal.

    @ Dave. I’m going to have to agree with another resident. I too was aware of the RFQ for legal servcies well before it was brought up at the SB meeting. So lets not pretend there is nothing to that.

    • dave

      April 15, 2011 at 11:49 am

      Resident and Mike,

      I guess I just don’t understand how the School Board works. I thought that in order for the Board to take an action, such as putting out an RFP/Q for legal services, they had to vote on it. Are you telling me that you had knowledge prior to the school board meeting that at least 4 board members were going to vote to put out an RFP/Q for legal services? If so, can you tell us where that information came from?

      Dave

  30. Wade Evans

    April 15, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Mike, filling in blanks on a field contract with the budget allowed you is hardly the same

  31. Keith Kepper

    April 15, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Mike, the precedence was well set by legal counsel during the year prior to what Mr. Lobue did! That is the whole freaking point!!!! A committee made up of people from the pool of citizens of our community are the general public and the city’s legal records should not be released to the general public without the consent of the city’s attorney and/or a recommendation of the city council, not the discretion of a single councilman. It could be a very big deal!!

  32. Mike Mannino

    April 15, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Keith I’m gonna agree it could be. But I’m gonna give Tony the benefit of the doubt and say that he looked at it, compared to what happened last year, saw a similar scenario, and made a judgement call. Much of the legal system is based on precedent and past practice.Not a thing wrong with that if its the right call. If it wasnt, thats a different story and voters can decide later. This is being blown way out of proportion. If he would have gone to council, the outcome would have likely been the same we would just have paid a fortune to get a ruling. I would defend any of the administration that did this same thing. BTW, Ms Morris in trying to resolve my records request, said in an open meeting last year that it was perfectly OK for a council member to sit down with me and show me anything I wanted, unredacted. So whats the difference ? And teh councils approval to unredact last year was just on the one issue, not a blanket ruling as being protrayed. I’m trying to be fair here but I dont see the same from everyone.

  33. Kyle

    April 15, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Every contract in the state of LA goes through one of their attorneys for review. Every contract in Baton Rouge goes through Parish Attorney’s office for review/work. I asked an EBR Councilman today. What kind of government would approve a contract without an attorney looking at them?

  34. Jerry

    April 15, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Mike, your words –
    I DO write & SIGN CONTRACTS much bigger than we deal with and there aint a lawyer in site. Working on one right now thats 10M over 5 years and yes I do write them.”
    “Not saying we havent been well versed in teh dos and donts by the legal chain but they leave us to our own with high expectations of compliance. You screw up, you are fired.”
    So, if you screw up the contract because you did something contrary to how “the legal chain” instructed you its not really your fault because you being well versed can make those decisions on your own. Or do you get fired? It can’t be both ways.
    I’m sorry Tony screwed up, I’m sorry for him and for our city.
    So next time anyone does anything wrong (and gets caught), especially if they got the most votes (like Obama) they just need to apologize really quick and make sure your ok with it and they can go about their merry way.
    I’m kinda glad your not representing our city with that logic.
    I’m sure wish I just get a beer and go sit on the couch, but you make it too easy.

  35. Central Resident

    April 15, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    I believe it is painfully clear that Legal Counsel is a MUST, this incident alone proves that. It is not up to any of us on this board, including Mike M. to say what items can be released and what needs to stay confidential. I will defer to our elected council members and Legal Councel on that and don’t have a problem doing that. While Councilman Lobue is honest and well educated, it seems somewhat blatant to do what he did, given unanimous council votes in the recent past. Hopefully, lessons learned and time to move on.

  36. Mike Mannino

    April 15, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    All of you are working off a false premise. Everything in the city is public record. Go look at RS 44.1 of the La Constitution. I got quite familiar with it in my public records request. Too lengthy to explain but suffice it to say, billing records are not confidential and do not constitute attorney client priviledge. Now thats a fact. I;m not saying this resident, ITS STATE LAW, i’m just quoting it.

    @ Jerry. Thats a convulted question there buddy. But let me try. Certainly if a person or employee in my case, doesnt follow what he has been instructed to follow, its a termination offense. But I refer you to the above as I have stated from the first post about this. MrLobue has every right and so do I to look at any record we want without redaction unless it contains notes or some personal feeling of the attorney. A billing record does not. Its an accounting of charges to the city. I have been down this road with this attorney already. There is nothing wrong with what Mr Lobue did.

  37. Mike Mannino

    April 15, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Fair warning. It is a fact that several council members dont care for Mr Lobues stance on issues out here. Live with it, we have been living with yours for 5 years. If any of you attempt any retaliation by removing from committees or worse, asking him to step down, you wont believe the fury you will unleash out here. For once, we have a man doing the right thing and you find false charges to levy against him. HE HAS DONE NOTHING WRONG> ZGo look at RS 44.1 which I became very familiar with during my records quest. Billing records are not confidential and anyone, including my 8 year old grandson, has a right to have them. Get over it.

  38. Ted

    April 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I felt like this post below was threatening so I copied it and sent it to all my friends in case it becomes needed. It looks like it has been deleted. Maybe not but we will see.

    Mike’s Profile · Non Censored City of Central’s Profile · Mike’s Wall
    Mike ManninoNon Censored City of Central
    Fair warning. It is a fact that several council members dont care for Mr Lobues stance on issues out here. Live with it, we have been living with yours for 5 years. If any of you attempt any retaliation by removing from committees or worse, asking him to step down, you wont believe the fury you will unleash out here. For once, we have… a man doing the right thing and you find false charges to levy against him. HE HAS DONE NOTHING WRONG> ZGo look at RS 44.1 which I became very familiar with during my records quest. Billing records are not confidential and anyone, including my 8 year old grandson, has a right to have them. Get over it. See More
    42 minutes ago ·LikeUnlike ·

    Non Censored City of Central Let me know when to march on city hall. Oh and no one has to report it to EBRSO ,when I get ready I’ll call them myself.
    21 minutes ago · LikeUnlike.Jill White Miller AGREE 110%!

  39. Mike Mannino

    April 15, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Good ted. thanks for spreading. This is like a lynch mob out here trying to hang an innocent man. It will not go unchallenged, we will cut the rope. I hope Mr Lobue gets a compentent attornies opinion and makes you look like the fools you are. Did you even bother to go read 44.1 ? Or just took the word of one paper ?

    BTW, its not a threat. Its a citizen voicing his right to freedom of speech and supporting a man that has been wronged. I think thats still legal in this country, in fact I’m quite sure it is. You nor anyone else will railroad a man for doing his job and doing it right just because you dont like his politics.

  40. Ted

    April 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Mike I’m doing the very same thing you have been doing. Freedom of speech which you and NON have a problem with. When you post on NON you say to everyone on their it is okay to have an opinion but not in this case. My problem is not with Councilman Lobue because I totally believe that it was an honest mistake at worst. My problem is with people like yourself who think everyone else’s opinion means nothing. Tooshay Mike, that is your Hypocrisy.

  41. Mike Mannino

    April 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Ted I absolutely welcome civil debate. Some people on here dont abide by that and I respond in kind.

    You call my post a threat which it is absolutely not. I’m trying to lay out facts and people want to crucify me. Instead, tell me where I’m wrong and no problem. RS 44.1 is very prescriptive about attorney client priviledge which is being imvoked in this case. It clearly explains that what Mr Lobue did was not in any violation. So all this is trying to bring a man down who was elected by a large number of citizens and is not doing anything wrong. That will not happen. If anyone else on the council had done the same, Id defend them just as vigoriously because this is a wrong interpretation of the statute that cost this city a tremendous amount of money unneccessarily.

  42. kyle

    April 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Hey Mike: You posted above on April 14 at 6:29 pm under one of your comments in talking about Councilman Lobue: “Hang on to your hat because he has 3 more years. Remember, he was the top vote getter by a large margin. Tells you something.”

    Well, I just went to the Sec of States website and looked up the votes from the election. You were dead last! You came in 9th out of 9. That tells us something! Should tell you something too!

    You know what I haven’t heard anywhere….another councilman defending him and supporting what he did!

  43. Tim Lazaroe

    April 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Mike, I laughed out loud at your comment, ” It is a fact that several council members dont care for Mr Lobues stance………”

    Given that Dr. Tony’s alliance has a majority on the council, what the heck are you talking about?

  44. Ted

    April 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Damm Kyle, 🙂 I knew it was coming. But getting back to Mike, you say that everyone or people are trying to bring him down. I have not heard anyone ask for anything of Councilman LoBue. His supporters seem to be the ones that are becoming so defensive.

  45. Dirk

    April 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    here are my next 4 hopefuls for central city counsel dave freneaux, mike mannino, keith kepper and tim lazaroe… boy if that happened i could get rid of cable…

  46. Dirk

    April 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    and even though im still laughing at kyles post i have known mike mannino a long time and i may disagree with everything he says but there is no doubt in my mind that he is passionate and would make a good city representitive… i just have trouble understand what the heck he is talking about sometimes… thats why i try to call him…

  47. Mike Mannino

    April 15, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Kyle I am by no means ashamed of my finish. Look at the totals. it took 10% to get in I got 8. Lets be honest, nobody got a clear mandate in that election. 150 votes would have made teh difference in teh Mayors race, a few hundred and teh council would have looked totally different. Not bad for me as an unknown that financed his own campaign. But dont count me out because I’m a persistent little sucker. And if you dont like me now, you are in for a rough 4 years after the next election because I will be retired and have PLENTY of time to go door to door and stand at subdivision entrances like everybody else did but I couldnt. @Tim, Lets get real. You are way smarter than that and a good guy to boot. @Dirk, we go back too far buddy. Dont write me off if I missed 1 phone call. You know I wouldnt not call you back on purpose. Call me now or come over and help me paint and we can talk.

    • dave

      April 15, 2011 at 7:10 pm

      Mike,
      I feel like Leno or Letterman. You picked CentralSpeaks.com to announce! Will that be for a Council seat or are you facing off against Mac and Junior?
      Dave

  48. Mike Mannino

    April 15, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Na, Might not even be in Central Dave but my kids and grandkids will. After all, its what we all fight for. Besides, it amuses me to play with these people who dont believe in what they say enough to use their real name. Like to get them worked up. But its almost too easy and I’m getting bored. But Dirk is right. If the 4 he named would run, you could turn off your TV for a while ! Cant buy that kind of entertainment.

  49. Keith kepper

    April 15, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Sorry Dirk, I had my sights set on President of the Universe! Or at least my own planet! 🙂

  50. Mike Mannino

    April 15, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Hey Dirk you make a joke but thats a good slate of candidates. I have tried to talk Dave into running but I know he has a full plate !

  51. Mike Mannino

    April 15, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    Keith what about Mr Universe ? You could take on Arnold.

  52. Dirk

    April 15, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    hey i was not kidding. i think that is where centrals school board members and centrals city counsel falls short. without districts how can you have an equal representation of the public. how does a person in each area know who is doing what. i look at the people i mentioned as a good representation of several different groups of people in central. when you put a group of brainstomers together, it would be hard at first but when everything starts clicking, i really think that is what central needs. and once each member starts relaying the information back to the communiuty and people start coming together. i’m being very serious.

  53. Mike Mannino

    April 15, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Hey Kyle just wanted to give the rest of the story on your personal attack.

    Moak – 11 % 4165 Elected
    Ross – 9 % 3346 Defeated
    Mannino- 9 % 3278 Defeated

    Not too shaby for a novice who had no idea what he was doing and had to work while running. BTW, I didnt see your name on the ballot or did I ? Wonder what you would get ? Kinda scary aint it brother ? A no name, self financed , average Joe that doesnt own a business and had no connections to help doing that well ?

  54. Ray

    April 16, 2011 at 6:14 am

    So much for the saying, “No one ever remembers who came in second.”
    Kyle, your not supposed to keep score in T_Ball, plus you could have said he was tied for 8th place. I think CCN reported after the election Mike was in the top 10. Come to think of it he was in the top 10 before the election.(model of consistency) Mike we all love you but ” Your No Average Joe”. Guess it’s time for me to come out of the closet, I voted for Mike. What I want to know is if Mike voted for himself? I also voted for Mr Lobue, along with everyone else in Central. Have a Great Day.

  55. Keith kepper

    April 16, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Vote getting is surely no proof of a useful public servant. It most likely indicates popularity or good politicking! If you are an incumbent, and you win then quite possibly you were doing a descent job or your opponents stunk or you were still a really good politician and you have previous name recognition. I’ve heard the argument about how many people voted for whoever and find it to be a pretty lame argument for being a good public servant. Good public servants concern themselves with all the issues of the public, not just a handful. The actions and inactions in office are proof for themselves. “you will know them by their fruits!”… Not my quote but a truly fitting test of public service, you’ll know what they are about by what they produce.

  56. Mike Mannino

    April 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    You are dead right on that Keith. Just look at some of the clowns we have in National Politics. Not the best and brightest for sure. Problem is, good people cant get elected because of the money it takes and how you become beholding to those that donate. Our political system is broken. Like a good friend has been telling me for 20 years, its gonna take another bloody american revolution.

  57. Mike mannino

    April 18, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Sure did get quiet on here. I hope that means some of you did your own research. We all need to defend the right to access these records. Maybe not a big deal on this, but could be on something down the road that one of you need to access.

  58. Ray

    April 18, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Mike, I think when you beat a dead horse long enough people get bored. I feel the majority of people that post here agree Mr Lobue is a good man who made a mistake. You and I’m sure some others, feel he was within his authority to distribute the documents to the committee. Just differences of opinion. Mike, were you eventually given access to the majority if not all of the records? Did you ever find anything that you would consider irregular? If not, why is it so important that you access everything. Is it because you feel it is your and other citizens right to access this information. All B.S. aside, just wondering what your motivation is on this issue. Are you fishing or is it based on principle.

  59. Mike Mannino

    April 18, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Good question Ray. I think any citizen should have the right to view these documents at any time without a legal review everytime someone asks for them. Its the law and we are violating citizens rights and costing the city money in the process. If their is really anything that sensitive in any of the records, they should be filed separately for review if some one asks for them. ( which they are entitled to). Not every record reviewed each time a request is made. That is ridiculous. From what I understand, some of these records are the same ones that were cleared for me to have last year. Does that make sense ?

  60. Ray

    April 18, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    What I’m trying to understand, according to your understanding of the law, all the records, even the redacted or sensitive ones, are to be made available to the public upon request? If this is the case, why should sensitive records be filed separately?

  61. Mike mannino

    April 19, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Yes according to the law Ray. But if Ms Morris insists on intrepeting her way, first, dont put sensitive information on a bill. ( nothing sensitive was on the bills I enventually received) Second, she if ignores that basic solution, file those few sensitive documents that you screwed up and put in a file, somewhere to be reviewed before releasing if requested. She had a case history on this with me, knew it could happen again, but did nothing to prevent it. But then again, why would she if the council keeps letting her get away with soaking us. We have to look at this from a perspective of what if I as an average citizen, somewhere down the road, needs a document and you have to jump through hoops to get it. BTW, I would support any of the council or mayor also if they were in Tonys shoes. This is a clear right to access public records being denied. ANY of us should be able to walk into City Hall and get what we want within the allocated 72 hours.

  62. Ray

    April 19, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I’m a little slow comprehending this, so bare with me. Are you saying that separately filing sensitive documents would make the remaining documents accessible to the public for viewing without approval of legal council, thus saving the city attorney from attorney fees? Would I be wrong if I said these accessible files would not be the documents you really care to see? If you make a request for a file that is deemed sensitive will you continue to pursue this information after being denied? If so, what purpose does the city serve in separating these files if you feel the law allows you access to them?

  63. Ray

    April 19, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Correction, thus saving the city the cost of attorney fees,

  64. Mike Mannino

    April 20, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Ray there should be very few that have sensitive information. SO if Ms Morris insists on reviewing, let its only be those few. What she did on my request was absolutely ridiculous. Thousands of pages of documents were looked at including emails, bills, check registers, etc. First, should not have been a need. Second, what am I supposed to believe I ended up with ? I suspect it was a heavily scrubbed set of files.

  65. Ward

    April 21, 2011 at 10:38 am

    What gets me in all this is if someone else (and you can fill in the blank) would have done this, oh boy, it would be a different story. I don’t have to say much…you know what I mean.

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