By Jim Sanders
Published: Tuesday, Sep. 20, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

The California Assembly has criticized as “unfounded and unnecessary” a public-records lawsuit filed by The Bee and Los Angeles Times seeking access to current fiscal records.

The lower house already has released all the data necessary to track spending by individual members, said the Assembly in a court filing by Thomas A. Willis of the Remcho, Johansen & Purcell law firm.

The data released were incomplete and insufficient, countered Rochelle L. Wilcox, attorney for The Bee and Times, which filed suit Aug. 5 in Sacramento Superior Court.

“We’re moving forward with the lawsuit,” Wilcox said. “Our lawsuit seeks specific information that they haven’t released.”

The fight stems from allegations by Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, D-La Cañada Flintridge, that his budget was slashed by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez as punishment for his casting the lone Democratic vote against this year’s budget.

The Bee and Times requested current Assembly fiscal records that could shed light on Portantino’s allegations of punishment.

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