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The local nonprofit civic engagement organization, Grassroots Community Group of Alhambra (AKA Grassroots Alhambra) has filed a complaint with the L.A. District Attorney’s Public Integrity Division alleging multiple instances of violations of the Ralph M. Brown Act at the July 16, 2020 meeting of the City’s Planning Commission.
By Rena Kurlander
The allegations concern submitted public comments for multiple agenda items that were not read into the meeting record as specified on the agenda’s public notice. Instead, city staff lumped comments that they deemed similar in theme into groups and read only one comment from each of those staff-determined groups. The complaint states that this is contrary to what was stated on the meeting notice and to previous city practice. In its complaint, Grassroots Alhambra states, “This appears to us to be a violation of public due process rights within the Brown Act, specifically, the right of any member of the public to speak and be heard on any matter on the agenda of a public meeting (Cal. Gov. Code 54954.3).”
Filed with the complaint were multiple emails from members of the public who were upset that their comments were not read. The complaint also notes that this would not be the City’s first Brown Act violation, citing a 2013 incident where the L.A. District Attorney found that then-Mayor Barbara Messina violated the law when she did not allow a member of the public to look at or criticize a fellow-councilmember during public comments.
The detailed complaint, filed on July 19, 2020, can be read Here.
> Audio of the meeting can be heard here.
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