It’s not often that THC gets real excited about the “reporting” from the folks over at the North Coast Journal, but the recently published bit about Eureka losing an appeal to withhold police videos is an issue that everyone can get behind. (Unless it’s the City of Eureka’s apparently really shitty legal team.) Read the full story, by Thadeus Greenson, here:
Of course, the Journal might not have ran such a long piece on the final resolution of the case if they hadn’t been in a years-long pissing match with the City of Eureka – but THC sure is pleased to see that at least one major publication in Humboldt will take on stories about idiotic and corrupt government.(even if they’d never do it for something that doesn’t agree with their agenda.)
Eureka’s attempt to withhold the footage of a police-involved shooting is troubling on it’s face, but consider this: Eureka’s attorney Cyndi Day-Wilson was trying to argue that nearly every single police video recorded should not be available to the public. Which is ridiculous because it makes it look like EPD really screwed the pooch – but it’s even more concerning as a reflection that our governments are seeking to keep us as uninformed as possible. Not cool, people.
Here are some quotes from Eureka’s legal opposition, Peter Boylan (per the NCJ):
“All litigation begins with an attorney evaluating the costs and benefits of pursuing a claim. What are the costs of winning? What are the costs of losing? In this case, the risks and cost to the city of losing were always far, far higher than any benefits the city might achieve if it won. The city must have known that the longer it dragged this out, the more it forced the NCJ to litigate, the more it was going to cost taxpayers.”
From an email Boylan sent to Day-Wilson:
“I am not posturing when I say that, should you appeal this further, you won’t win,” Boylan wrote at the time. “Although anything is possible, a reversal of the appellate court’s opinion is extremely unlikely for a bunch of procedural and substantive reasons. Further appeal will do nothing but waste more public employee time and more taxpayer money. Further litigation will only drive up the fees and costs the city will inevitably be ordered to pay.”
“The city financed a long-shot bet with public money,” he said. “It is an unfathomable mystery why the city chose to roll the dice on this when the odds were stacked so heavily in favor of losing. …”
So why did the City push forward, against common-sense and despite every indication that they would lose, and cost us all money? THC couldn’t tell you – but we’ll remind you that you can ask any of Eureka’s City Councillor’s just what in the hell they thought they were doing by authorizing/directing Day-Wilson to pursue the lawsuit. Also, be sure to ask them why the f*** she’s still on the payroll.
In case you’ve forgotten, the City of Eureka isn’t the only government agency around here with a piss-poor legal record. Exhibit A: Humboldt’s County Counsel office. Once again, wasting a shit ton of tax-payer money in lawsuits that they can’t hope to win, and which also frequently center around denying the public or individuals their legal rights. Here’s a review of that, courtesy of us:
So, this begs the question: just what in the hell are these attorneys thinking? Even to the untrained (or drunk, in THC’s case) legal eye, there was no way that Eureka was going to win this recent settlement. Similarly, the wonder-boy County Counsel that we are all paying for keeps screwing us over, too. Perhaps a better question is: where the hell is the accountability from our elected officials and the people they employ for the shitty, shitty decisions they make? We suggest you ask them.
It must be said that the Journal might not have ran such a long piece on the final resolution of the case if they hadn’t been in a years-long pissing match with the City of Eureka – but THC sure is pleased to see that at least one major publication in Humboldt will take on stories about idiotic and corrupt government.(even if they’d never do it for something that doesn’t agree with their agenda.)
Here’s another link to the full story at NCJ: