With Brown Act Violations Obstinate Resistance Can be Futile

COSTA MESA — On Thursday, a second volley was fired off to the Costa Mesa City Council over their apparent violation of the state open meetings law the Brown Act. We reported on Wednesday that the public access advocacy group Californian’s Aware had sent a letter to the City Council warning them that their conduct, in secret, of the ir “work groups” including the Budget Work Group were not operating legally.

Costa Mesa's Righeimer and Monahan

Costa Mesa Council Members Jim Righeimer and Gary Monahan, Photo: Chris Prevatt

The letter from Terry Francke, CalAware’s General Counsel concluded that the budget work group which council members Monahan and Righeimer used as the platform to launch their scheme to lay off virtually all city staff other than managers and police, operated in violation of the Brown Act because all of their business was conducted in secret.

Don Drozd, OCEA General Counsel

A letter (HERE) from Orange County Employees Association General Counsel Don Drozd, hand delivered to the city on Thursday took the matter to what is the next legal level. In his letter Drozd tells the city that the actions the council took, based upon the recommendations from a secret workgroup are not legal and all action taken is null and void. The letter demands that the city correct or cure their violation of the Brown Act. This is the first step required before any legal action can be taken against the city for violating the Brown Act. They get a short period of time to voluntarily correct their actions or face lawsuit by either the District Attorney or interested parties.

While I suspect that the gang of four, Monahan, Righeimer, Mensinger, and Bever, will stick to their flawed course of action, the are likely to learn the hard way that obstinate resistance is futile.

  3 comments for “With Brown Act Violations Obstinate Resistance Can be Futile

  1. Howard be my name
    May 13, 2011 at 9:14 am

    It’s “interesting” that the OCDA continues to ignore the blatant and significant Brown Act violations in Costa Mesa while coming down hard on some minor violations in CUSD. Oh how I wish the AG would investigate the OCDA.

  2. keep da peace
    May 13, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Why would the most corrupt DA in the state even think of investigating his buddies on the CM City counsel? This is why it will bebup to lawyers at CalAware and th unions to make sure this is dealt with in Court.

  3. Al Simmons
    May 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Californians Aware could have a full time job if they were to litigate the Brown Act violations in Santa Ana.
    Every single meeting has new violations, and they are available on video, so all the evidence they need is right there.
    All of the city councils are required to have annual ethics training, and certain city councils like Santa Ana and Costa Mesa have blatantly decided to ignore those Brown Act legal and ethical requirements and simply refuse to comply with the law.
    Here’s hoping California Aware goes ahead and pulls the trigger and files this litigation.

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