The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has a special Public Integrity Division whose “ultimate goal is to increase the public’s level of confidence in its elected and appointed officials,” according to its website.
Its focus is public officials, school officials, election and campaign violations, and Brown Act violations. Yes, it’s true. It looks into Brown Act violations.
Recently, the LA County supervisors met in closed session to discuss compensation negotiations, something that is perfectly legitimate to discuss behind closed doors. However, the supervisors failed to include the discussion on their agenda prior to the meeting.
And the Public Integrity Division found the supervisors in violation of the Brown Act.
DA Steve Cooley believes in open government, probably more so than any other DA in the state. He established the PID that repeatedly shines the light on public officials behaving badly.
Mike Hestrin promises a more open office when he’s seated as Riverside County’s district attorney in January.
Consider our county’s geographic size and population of more 7,000 square miles and more than 2 million people, making it the fourth most populated county in the state.
If I had to count the number of public boards subject to the Brown Act in the county, I’m guessing it would number in the thousands.
Those public boards representing the Hill alone number 12 not to mention their committees also subject to open government laws.
I hope Hestrin establishes a public oversight division within our DA’s office to ensure our representatives really represent us and not themselves.