Sunday, June 1, 2008

Hollister paper denied salary data

Remember that California Supreme Court decision last August that declared that the salaries of government employees in California are a matter of public record and must be available upon request to "ensure transparency in government." Apparently it doesn't apply in places like San Benito, about 50 miles south of San Jose. The Hollister Free Lance wanted to find out if a San Benito High School District employee, Nancy Polizzi, was on paid or unpaid status after she testified in a March murder trial and divulged she had unknowingly supplied money for the murder weapon and also supplied one of the men with $1,000 to start a marijuana business. The school district rejected the paper's request for Polizzi's status. Dino Velez, a San Francisco attorney representing the school district, said officials are attempting to "balance the public's needs with Nancy Polizzi's due process rights." According to the Free Lance, an attorney for the California Newspaper Publishers Association responded by calling the district's decision "very short on legal analysis" and saying it shows contempt for the Supreme Court.

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