FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lee Ulansey
Home (707) 444-8263
Office: (707) 268-8773
(Eureka, CA) –The Humboldt Coalition for Property Rights (HumCPR) announced today that it had filed a lawsuit against the County of Humboldt to compel them to produce documents sought under the California Public Records Act (CPRA) (Government Code 6250-6277).
The Records Act request by HumCPR to the County was made on December 5th of last year and to date, the information sought has not been provided. “The law provides the documents to be produced within ten (10) days of the written request and we have been waiting for over three months” stated Lee Ulansey, HumCPR Chair. The information sought by this CPRA was to ask the County to provide the amount of taxpayers’ money that has been spent on attorney’s fees to defend itself or pursue lawsuits filed on land use and private property issues. Ulansey added, “Our County Counsel has had the audacity to tell us that they do not even know how much they have spent on these lawsuits. If it was a Humboldt family or business that had spend tens of millions of dollars on lawyers I guarantee we would know exactly who we paid it to”.
“We believe that the citizens should know how much money is being spent on lawsuits on private property issues,” said Ulansey. “Particularly in these difficult economic times the public needs to know how much money is being diverted to often unnecessary litigation and not on programs that the taxpayers desperately need”, he continued. “Our roads are falling apart, our people are out of work, we are cutting public safety staff and are paying lawyers millions of dollars,” he concluded “Not to comply with this request, as they have done, is a violation of the public’s right to know the truth, and moreover is is blatantly against the law”.
As stated in the request, the California Constitution, Article 1, provides: “The people have the right to instruct their representatives, petition government and for redress of grievances. . .and (b) (1) The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business, and therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny.”