The Orange County Register has decided to target the more than 13,000 men and women employed by the County of Orange for scrutiny.Ã‚Â As Jubal reported over at Red County earler today, the Register submitted a public records request to the county requesting the “names, titles, base pay, bonus pay, overtime pay, or any other type of monetary compensation” for all current County employees and County officials have agreed to the request.
Needless to say, the Orange County Employees Association and Nick Berardino are none to happy about this.Ã‚Â In a letter to Ken Brusic, Editor of the OC Register, Berardino wrote, “we urge you in the strongest terms to refrain from publishing the names or any information obtained through The RegisterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s public records request that would personally identify any individual County employee…There is nothing newsworthy about connecting the names of individual County employees to their salaries.”
Berardino in his letter (the full text of whichÃ‚Â will be posted later today) does not argue against the release of the salaries but asks that the namesÃ‚Â associatedÃ‚Â to those salaries beÃ‚Â kept confidential.Ã‚Â “The publicÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s right to know, and The RegisterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s legitimate journalistic objectives, can completely and easily be satisfied by referring to employees by, for example, randomly assigned numbers rather than by name, or by simply listing job titles and salaries”, wrote Berardino.
The release of the names along with the salaries will have a negative impact on the public employees, the overwhelming majority of which are hard working and dedicated public servants.Ã‚Â It is simply reprehensible to think that the Register will follow through with publishing the names and salaries of all the County employees.Ã‚Â How is the a benefit to the public?Ã‚Â Will Brusic agree to publish the same information on all his employees including reporters and editors?
I encourage everyone to call the Orange County Register at (714) 796-7000 and ask for the newsroom.Ã‚Â Tell them that you oppose the release of this information.Ã‚Â If you are a Register subscriber perhaps you should let them know that and suggest that you may have to cancel it and subscribe to the LA Times instead.