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QuachGate: Stonewalled By Westminster City Attorney?

Brick Wall

On the one hand, I really do have empathy for the staff at Westminster City Hall, and Police Department. They have a difficult job dealing with the drama that is Andy Quach, Tyler Diep, and their Godfather Van Tran. They have been hit with dozens of public records requests and have had to send most of them over to their City Attorney’s office for review.

Empathy however, does not equal an excuse for failing to respond in a timely manner to requests for the release of information and documents that have already been released to other media outlets.

Specifically, I have requested the transcripts of Van Tran’s attempt to intervene during Andy Quach’s DUI investigation, specific records of the incident such as further detail on vehicle directions, photos of the accident scene, and even Councilman Quach’s booking photo. We were at day 11 since my request for that information when I finally got their attorney to call me back Tuesday afternoon. At which point she told me that the only requests they have came in on August 11th.

By law public agencies have 10 days to respond to a request for records. If they cannot produce them or need additional time, they are required to contact the requesting party within 10 days. They have not.

Below is my first request made on August 7th at 11:19am.

I would like to request if available, any photos of the vehicle accident scene for this incident. An addition if there is a booking photo I would like that as well.

Also, in reading the Register story yesterday, I noticed that the Register reporter had access to transcripts of the responding/investigating officers’ individual conversations “wire recording” I think it may be called. If possible I would like copies of those same transcripts and the actual recordings if available.

Finally, can you provide me with the time of the initial 911 report of the incident, the time that the first responding officer arrived at the scene, and the approximate time of Assemblyman Tran’s arrival on scene.

I was told that I should be getting “something” on Wednesday, but I’ve got to ask, why is it that the city will release information to the Orange County Register but no one else? Do they somehow think the Register will go easy on them? While they may go soft on Van Tran from time to time, I doubt they’re going to let much slide on this story.

So what gives? Are they stonewalling? Are they trying to look like they are trying to hide something?

If and when I get something I’ll let you know, but that probably won’t happen till Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.