Monday, October 24, 2016 – 9:03 p.m.
In Part 1 of this expose, I “copy and pasted” the public information request and answers by the county concerning the employment contract of political lobbyist Fred Aguiar (view here).
Now I am going to copy and paste the second public information request submitted on September 30, 2016. The answers were provided on October 7.
Read the answers carefully and note them. I did.
1. I would like a list of each and every instance that Mr. Aguiar has used his identification badge, along with the location of each usage, to access various areas of county property going back to January 12.
The County does not provide information on security badge usage because the disclosure of such information could create a security threat. However, it should be noted that during normal business hours employees seldom if ever have to “swipe” their badges to gain access to County buildings and their offices. Locked areas are staffed with clerical workers who will “buzz” through someone who is known to be an employee.
2. Going back to January 12, I would like copies (ideallyelectronically) of each and every email Fred Aguiar sent and received from the email address you previously provided (Fred.Aguiar@bos.sbcounty.gov). Additionally, I would like to have copies of each attachment, if applicable, included in the response.
This request requires additional time to fulfill. The County is in the process of gathering the emails in question and reviewing each one for information that would be exempt from disclosure.
3. Going back to January 12, I would like a print out of the phone bill/logs (including call duration) for each phone line assigned to the first district, including district offices that shows all incoming and outgoing calls from each number. If the county stipulates that Mr. Fred Aguiar did not call a specific number, the county may list that number in the response and I will not ask for any phone logs for that number. If the county has the ability to do so, I would like the logs to be exported to an excel spreadsheet.
To the extent any such records exists, phone or similar types of records are exempt from disclosure under the deliberative process privilege of the Public Records Act.
4. Going back to January 12, I would like a copy of Supervisor Lovingood’s cell phone bill detailing his calling and texting history. I believe cell phone providers allow users to export this data to excel spreadsheets. I would like both an electronic copy of the billing statements and a version exported to excel.
The County has not issued a cell phone to Supervisor Lovingood, therefore the County does not possess any documents responsive to this request.
5. Can you please confirm whether or not Mr. Lovingood receives any compensation for cell phones/electronic devices?
County elected officials are eligible to receive a mobile device allowance of $92.31 per pay period. However, the County does not disclose anyone’s specific benefit choices.
We will get back to you regarding your request for emails.
Dissecting the Answers
Answer #2. Nothing really unreasonable about that response. I am sure that Mr. Aguiar produced voluminous amounts of work to earn that $122,000 a year salary. However, it is now October 24…nearly a month later…and the individual requesting these documents has still not received them.
I believe government agencies are required to comply with public information requests within 10 days and they are also afforded a 14-day extension. These are calendar days, not business days.
The individual making this request has repeatedly asked for updates and told that the emails would be available in a couple of days.
Answer #3. If emails are supposed to be made freely available, why would a call log be top secret? If an employee is working remotely to advise Supervisor Lovingood, it seems clear that these call details should be made available.
He also didn’t dispute that Aguiar lives outside the district, but said he regularly travels to San Bernardino for supervisors’ meetings and he calls into daily roundtable meetings.
Where is the proof, Bob? Or did you lie to a reporter just like you lied to the voters when you promised to not raise taxes and fees?
Answer 4. Lovingood doesn’t have a county cell phone because he doesn’t want to have to disclose the details of his calls and text messages. It is very similar to why Hillary Clinton set up her private server to keep her emails secret.
What is Bob hiding?
Answer 5. Elected officials get a cell phone allowance. Do you think Supervisor Lovingood, the fiscal conservative who talks a big game, accepted the compensation even though he does not have a county cell phone? I would bet a lot of money that Lovingood is simply pocketing this money and using it to pay for his private cell phone.
“Do what I say, not what I do!” Eh, Bob?
Maybe some day those emails will be released. Maybe some day this county will be more forthcoming with information requested by taxpayers interested in keeping their government accountable.
I’ll keep you updated on whether or not the individual who requested this information ever gets the emails.
Sure would be nice if the local media would take a look into these matters.