Thursday, January 21, 1999

The board's "persistent and defiant misconduct" (according to Orange County Superior Court Judge Tully H. Seymour)

     A judge has ordered the South Orange County Community College District to tape-record its closed-door meetings for two years because of its “persistent and defiant misconduct” in violating state open-meeting laws. Orange County Superior Court Judge Tully H. Seymour also referred the case to the District Attorney’s Office for possible criminal prosecution, court records show. A prior finding of Brown Act violations against the district in 1997 also will be forwarded…”
     The (district) board engaged in a continuing course of conduct that appears to the court to reflect a total disregard for the requirements of the open-meeting law,” Seymour ruled. Terry Franke, director of the California First Amendment Coalition, said Seymour’s order might set a precedent. “This is extraordinary,” said Franke, who helped write the Brown Act. “This would be the first effective order for taping, and I have absolutely never heard of a judge in a civil (Brown Act) matter taking the initiative to alert the DA’s office.”
—From the OC Register, 1/21/99

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