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Press Conference to Oppose City of Vallejo Destruction of Police Records

Tuesday, December 03, 2019
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Vallejo City Hall
555 Santa Clara St
Vallejo, CA 94590

The Justice Coalition of Vallejo will hold a Press Conference on the steps of Vallejo City Hall at 5:30 PM today – December 3, 2019.

The City of Vallejo, in response to passage of SB 1421, the "Right to Know Act" is considering adopting a Revised Public Records Access and Management Policy for City of Vallejo Officials. This policy is scheduled to be considered at a Vallejo City Council Special Meeting at 6:00 PM.

Coalition members will be in attendance to vehemently oppose the destruction of records in contradiction to the clear intent of SB1421, the "Right to Know Act"

Emails and electronic communications to and from city officials regarding city business are subject to the California Public Records Act. Part of the recommendation by outgoing City Attorney Claudia Quintana includes automatic purges of all email or text records over two years old that have not been explicitly identified as "writing that constitutes a public record", and archived by the City Official to whom they were sent (or authored by?).

While we recognize that a two year retention is far better than the pre-SB 1421 retention period of 90 days, we are not in favor of any automatic purging of data at all. The decision of what to archive made by the same City Official involved in the communication is a potential conflict of interest, should any of the communication be potentially damaging or embarrassing to that individual or their department.

Two years is too brief a period for document retention. The City of Vallejo and affiliated government agencies can move very slowly. Ronell Foster was killed by Vallejo Police Officer Ryan McMahon in February of 2018, yet the case is still outstanding and under review by the Solano County District Attorney, over 21 months after the incident! Given that kind of long time frame for matters of high importance, we are not comfortable with the automatic destruction of public records within as short a time as two years.

The logical approach for a Public Records Policy is not to retain only those electronic communications that have been archived by an interested party, but to retain everything that is not explicit identified as irrelevant to the public record, such as SPAM.

The Agenda for this Special Meeting and the recommended action can be found here:
Added to the calendar on Tue, Dec 3, 2019 3:22PM
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