From Peter Martin’s office:

An Open Letter to the Arcata City Council
From: Peter E. Martin, A Law Corporation, Attorney for Marc Delany
Re: Public Records Act Request
Date: August 31, 2011

Dear Council members:

Recently, Marc Delany submitted a public records act request to the City in which he sought the total amount of fees paid to every attorney hired by the City over the past few years.  The City refused to provide the information relating to fees paid to private attorneys, claiming it was subject to the attorney-client privilege.  The cases cited by the city in support of its position actually stand for the opposite proposition, that is, that the amount of attorney’s fees paid is not privileged under California law. Information about fees is privileged only if it would disclose tactics or strategy.  A request for a total does not disclose tactics or strategy.

Marc Delany encourages each and every council member to conduct the city’s business in and open, transparent manner consistent with this country’s highest ideals, as does Arcata Local Ordinance 1339.

The purpose of the public records act is to let the public know what its public servants are doing.  Mr. Delany believes that the City has mismanaged its litigation and has incurred tens of thousands in unnecessary fees.  The City can prove him wrong, if he is, by releasing the total amount of fees paid.  The City is acting like it has something to hide.

This is to give the City one last opportunity to obey the law before Mr. Delany files suit to obtain these records.

Do the right thing,

Peter Martin